The coronavirus crisis will create peak demand on California's health care resources on April 26, but the state will be likely able to meet the need for hospital beds, according to a state-by-state forecast from researchers at the University of Washington's medical school.
The Golden State will see more than 4,300 deaths due to coronavirus, with fatalities continuing into August, the forecast found as of Monday. The numbers are expected to peak with about 100 deaths per day in late April.
The state-by-state projections were published last week by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the university in Seattle. The modeling is being updated daily, and the figures available for California on Monday show improvement since the forecast's March 26 release.
The state has been preparing for a surge that will require two-thirds increase in hospital system capacity, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday, when a top state health official indicated the state's own "very dynamic" modeling indicated a peak in the second half of May.
...Across the country, demand for ventilators and beds in hospital intensive care units is expected to far exceed capacity when need peaks on April 15, and deaths from the virus will continue into July, the researchers found.
"An estimated need of 224,321 total beds (33,440 for ICU) and 26,753 ventilators at peak could be devastating for hospitals and health workers nationwide," an update published Monday stated.
The data is based on observed death rates and an expectation of continuing adherence to social distancing guidelines throughout the pandemic — and on states that have not already adopted such measures doing so within the next week.
...California's peak is 11 days behind the U.S. average, which should occur April 15, according to the institute's projections.
At the predicted April 26 peak, California will have enough ICU beds to meet peak demand for COVID-19 patients, with 1,564 intensive care beds needed out of 1,993 available, the forecast stated.
A worst-case projection, however, shows the state falling far short of a possible 3,417 ICU beds needed.
...“The truth of the matter is none of us really know,” Dr. Barbara Ferrer said. “We’re all making the best guess that we can using the different modeling techniques that are available.”
The fact that no one has ever experienced this virus before makes it very difficult to make accurate predictions, but we'll know more when we see this week if county rates continue to double or triple, she said.
She praised those in the nation's most populous county — with some 10 million residents — for practicing social distancing and isolation.
“If we’re really good at this … we might have a different trajectory here in L.A. County," Ferrer said. "I don’t know for sure, but that’s the hope I offer: Let's get really good at what we know we can do to dampen the curve."
Friday, April 03, 2020
This came out on March 30th. Grounds for optimism. We might actually flatten that damned curve. Zombies better look elsewhere for brains.