Range of Predictions for Coronavirus Deaths and Hospital Needs in IHME Modeling

Range of Model Predictions for Coronavirus Deaths and Hospital Needs in IHME Modeling

While the Administration seems to work on ventilator needs at the center of the projections, this ignores the much larger range of needs.  These would translate into many lives lost.  This is especially true because there are still many states which have not joined the stay-at-home restrictions, and because the national standards are much weaker than they could be. There also seems to be political interference in the wisest use of the nation’s resources and methods of creating or importing new resources.

Despite the tedious hour and a half Presidential news conference, it wasn’t made clear that the assumptions of the low IHME numbers is that all in the country must participate, and the lockdown still must continue until June.  Since there are a number of Republican states, several of them will not peak until May, and last through June, when the rest of us are ready to get back to life.  That could easily cause a second wave, adding another two months.  Politically, Trump is unwilling to impose restrictions on Republican states.

Here we state the centers of the predictions, and the 95% ranges of hospital needs given on the IHME (Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation) website.  The Institute is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the State of Washington.  It is run by Dr. Chris Murray of the University of Washington.  These are adjusted every day, so this is for the results of March 31.  We report on the USA, New York, and California, on the needs and deaths on the peak date of hospital beds needed for each region, and the total predicted deaths by August 4.  Some of the limits are read off of graphs.  I use rounded off numbers since they are easier to read, and the wide range and daily changes makes that reasonable.

The United States of America

The peak date is April 15.  I give the central probability number, and in parenthesis, the (5%-95%) range.  The death ranges are read off of the graphs.  On April 15, the projected deaths per day are 2200 (1200 to 3300).  The total projected deaths to August 4 are 84,000 (38,000 to 152,000) (roughly, one half to double the central value).

The total beds needed nation wide are 220,000 (110,000 to 340,000) (one half to 50% more).  The shortage at the center is 54,000, so you can also see at the maximum range, the shortage would be 120,000 more than that.

ICU beds needed are 33,000 (15,000 to 53,000) (roughly 1/2 to 50% more), The shortage is 14,000, but the range is to 34,000.

Ventilators needed are 26,000 (12,000 to 43,000).

New York State

The peak date is April 9th.  The deaths that day are 820 (530 to 1100).  The total deaths are 16,000 (9,500 to 21,000).

While 13,000 beds are available, the beds needed are 74,000 (44,000 to 98,000).

While 720 ICU beds are available, the ICU beds needed are 11,000 (5,600 to 16,000).

The ventilators needed are 9,100 (4,500 to 13,000).


The peak for California in hospital beds is projected to April 27, about 12 days after the nation peaks, and close to the Administration’s current extent of the social distancing restrictions.  At that time, California’s projected deaths per day is 120 (15 to 270).  The total deaths by August 4 would be 5,100 (1,300 to 11,000).

California has 27,000 beds available.  The projection of beds needed is 1900 (110 to 4400), so we will not be short of hospital beds.

2,000 ICU beds are available.  But the number that will be needed is 1,900 (100 to 4,400).  So, at the upper limit, we could be short 2,400 ICU beds.

The number of ventilators needed at the peak is 1500 (100 to 3500).

New Jersey

New Jersey has called for 2300 ventilators.  It has 18,000 cases and over 267 deaths.  They are projected to peak on April 8.

The deaths/day at the peak are 90 (55 to 120).  Total deaths predicted are 1800 (1,000 to 2600).

There are 7800 beds available.  Projected need is 8300 (4500 to 12,000).

ICU beds available are 470.  Projected need is 1300 (600 to 1900).  The shortage is 800.

There are 1,000 (500 to 1,600) ventilators needed.


Michigan will peak on April 10.  Then, its deaths per day will be 160 (60-240).  Its total deaths are predicted to be 3,000 (1200 to 4500).

They have 10,700 beds available, and the amount that will be needed is 14,500 (5,200 to 22,400).

ICU beds available are 700, and needed are 2200 (600 to 3600).

Ventilators needed will be 1800 (500 to 2900).


Texas will be a late bloomer, peaking on May 5.  The deaths per day then will be 160 (40 to 3700).  Total deaths are predicted at 6,000 (1800 to 14,000).

Beds available are 29,000, and needs will be 17,000 (3500 to 41,000).

ICU beds available are 2300, and needs will be 2500 (400 to 6200).

Ventilators needed are predicted at 2,000 (300 to 5,000). 

About Dennis SILVERMAN

I am a retired Professor of Physics and Astronomy at U C Irvine. For a decade I have been active in learning about energy and the environment, and in lecturing and attending classes at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at UC Irvine.
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