Coronavirus: When will Covid-19 peak in the US?

Around 25,000 ventilators, 140,000 beds needed to cope with the pandemic, according to new data 

Louise Hall
Monday 06 April 2020 22:22
Top health official warns against going to grocery store 'everyday' as US reaches coronavirus peak

The peak of the coronavirus pandemic in the US is only 10 days away, with 3,130 Americans predicted to die in one day, new data show.

Statistics provided by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) estimate the total number of deaths within the US due to the novel coronavirus to reach 81,766 by 4 August.

However, the projections find that the need for hospital beds, ICU beds, and ventilators needed to deal with the Covid-19 epidemic are less than previously estimated, according to a press release.

IHME statistics suggest that around 25,000 ventilators, 140,000 beds, and 29,000 ICU beds will be needed for hospitals to cope with the pandemic.

Hospitals are predicted to reach their resource limits on the 15 April, one day before the height of the death toll is reached.

Dr Christopher Murray, Director of IHME at the University of Washington’s School of Medicine said that implementation of social distancing measures is crucial and subject to these predictions.

“As we noted previously, the trajectory of the pandemic will change — and dramatically for the worse — if people ease up on social distancing or relax with other precautions,” he said in a press release.

The IHME website states that “social distancing will likely lead to the end of the first wave of the epidemic by early June”.

The data reflects New York governor Andrew Cuomo’s suggestion that the state could be within days of hitting the apex of the virus.

Dates previously ranged from seven, to 14, to 21 days into the month of April for when the state’s peak would hit.

The IHME statistics say that New York will face its peak on 9 April, with an estimated 878 deaths on that day.

At least 4,159 people in the state have died as of Sunday, of which more than 3,500 were reported in New York City.

“New York may peak in the next few days, although the potential range of peak deaths per day is large. New Jersey has a larger epidemic than previously thought and will peak later than New York,” Dr Murray said.

New Jersey’s forecast is predicted to have 584 Covid-19 related deaths on its peak of 16 April in 10 days.

The state is estimated to have a significant shortage of beds, as the data suggest a deficit of more than 16,800 hospital beds, with more than 4,500 lacking from intensive care units.

These scientific projections work on the consideration of effects of social distancing measures implemented at state level and assume continued observation of such measures.

Dr Murray said. “If social distancing measures are relaxed or not implemented, the US will see greater death tolls, the death peak will be later, the burden on hospitals will be much greater, and the economic costs will continue to grow.”

The novel coronavirus usually only causes mild to moderate symptoms in most people but can lead to more serious complications, which can be fatal.

More than 340,000 people have tested positive for the disease in the US and more than 10,000 people across the country have died.

The website states that the model is updated daily to account for any new data and information and that estimates may change as a result.

IHME’s data is based on an extensive range of information and data sources including that of local governments, national governments, and the World Health Organization.

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