Coronavirus Shapes of Things to Come for the USA

Coronavirus Graphic Projections from the IHME for hospital resources, deaths per day, and total deaths.

The Coronavirus White House Task Force has been using Coronavirus projections from the IHME or Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.   This has been called the University of Washington model, or the Chris Murray model, the head of their group.  It is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the State of Washington.  I have been using their numerical data to replace the use of a hundred graphs, but today I will be presenting their graphs in order to show the future shapes of things to come.

We present the principal graphs for the United States here, and in future articles for New York State, and for California, for the use of hospital resources, the rate of deaths per day, and the total deaths in those domains.  The projections were last updated on April 2, using data through April 1 to make predictions.

The dashed line is the highest projection probability of deaths per day for the United States, and the shading is the 95% limits on the projections.  The deaths per day are predicted to peak on April 16, when the predicted number is 2,644, with 95% limits on that day of 1,216 to 4,136, or roughly from one half to 56% greater.  Note that the peak of the 95% limits occurs a few days, later, and is about 4,400 per day.

The total deaths up to August 3 are projected at around 94,000, with 95% lower limits at about 40,000, and upper limits around 180,000.  These are numbers quoted by Dr. Birx of the Task Force.  Any of these number can only be attained by complete stay-at-home obedience, and all states contributing.  The lower limit is about 43% of the main probability, and the upper limit is about twice as much.

The US hospital bed usage reaches a projected peak on April 15, when the need will be 262,000, with limits on that day of 23,000 to 418,000.  We note that hospitalization is usually needed for about 20% of cases, so the total number of cases may be around five times as large, or 1.3 million.  Stay at home!  The number of ICU beds needed on that date is about 40,000, or 15% of hospital beds.  The number of ventilators needed is projected around 32,000, which is 80% of ICU patients, and 12% of hospital admissions.

The crucial last resort treatment is the use of oxygen and forced breathing ventilators.  The peak projection of their need is on April 12, a week from now, and three days before the peak need of beds on April 15.  The 95% limits are from 15,000 to 51,000.  While there are 60,000 ventilators in the US, typically, only 20% are available from everyday emergency uses.  The US had 10,000 as a stockpile, which is being distributed as needed.  The problem is to get them from all over the country to the hot spots where they are immediately needed, as the supplying states hope to get them back.  Unfortunately, the stockpile needed constant usage maintenance, and that was abandoned in 2018, so many have to be refurbished after they are distributed.   The 100,000 planned in production for the end of June, won’t even be started for a few weeks.




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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