TAMPA, Fla. - We now have new models showing when the coronavirus outbreak will likely peak in Florida, when it will likely end, and what the death toll may be.
Dr. Chris Murray and his team at the University of Washington produced the model, which the Trump administration’s experts say is in line with their own.
“We expect the epidemic to continue with increased bed days ICU days right through to the end of May,” he offered.
A map of their findings shows states in red, like New York, are nearing a peak in COVID-19 cases. The states in blue, like Florida, are still in the early stages of the outbreak.
Based on his model, COVID-19 cases in Florida will peak around May 3. That means infections and deaths will surge in the coming weeks.
The analysis shows Florida will not have a shortage of standard hospital beds. But we will be short at least 300 ICU beds -- potentially more than 800 short at the peak -- and will need more than 1,500 ventilators, if not more, until the epidemic subsides.
The models say deaths in Florida will drop to fewer than 10 deaths a day by early June -- about the same time that the model expects the epidemic to end across the nation.
“The epidemic in the U.S. will be meeting the criteria of ending by the first week of June. Of course that doesn’t mean there may not be a return of COVID-19 in the fall in a second wave. That’s a very different topic.”
In terms of deaths caused by COVID-19 in this current outbreak, Dr. Anthony Fauci says he would not be surprised to see 100,000 to 200,000 deaths across the nation, even if we do all the right things.
Dr. Murray’s projection is in line with that, projecting more than 80,000 deaths nationwide by August.
“Leading to our best estimate is about 81,000 deaths and it could be much higher depending on other circumstances.”
Meanwhile, Dr. Murray’s model projects more than 5,500 deaths in Florida by August, and possibly more, with models going up to the 6,700 range.
LINK: Read more about Dr. Murray's model
But just because a model projects it, does not mean it will necessarily happen. And models are changing as new data comes in each day.
Dr. Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, has been pressing that point all week.
“When someone creates a model, they put in various assumptions,” he explained. “And the model is only as good and accurate as your assumptions.”
If you feel sick:
The Florida Department of Health has opened a COVID-19 Call Center at 1-866-779-6121. Agents will answer questions around the clock. Questions may also be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Email responses will be sent during call center hours.
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