Story at a glance

  • The University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation has created a model to project future cases of COVID-19 in the United States.
  • The study has not yet been peer reviewed and should not be used to guide clinical practice.
  • Projections are based on the assumption that full social distancing measures will be observed through at least May 2020.

A new model predicts coronavirus deaths will have peaked in the United States on April 15, though the research is a preprint, meaning it has not yet been peer reviewed. The peer review process is a vital part of assessing new medical research and identifies weaknesses in its assumptions, methods and conclusions. 

Full updated results are available here: COVID-19 Projections

When a state is chosen under the drop down menu, the infographic projects how many hospital beds, ICU beds, bed shortage (if any) and ventilators may be necessary in each state to address patient need. Local mandates and travel restrictions are reported as well.

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So, why release the estimate if it is a preprint? The University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) said colleagues asked them to develop the models at the university's school of medicine and soon heard from other hospital systems and state governments. 

"Ultimately, these forecasts were developed to provide hospitals, health care workers, policymakers, and the public with crucial information about what demands COVID-19 may place on hospital capacity and resources, so that they could begin to plan," the IHME wrote.


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The model, published online by IHME, predicts the peak use of hospital resources, including beds, ICU beds and invasive ventilators, for COVID-19 patients in each state. The study used data on confirmed coronavirus deaths from the Word Health Organization (WHO) and local and national governments as well as data on hospital capacity and utilization for each of the states. 

While peak dates vary from state to state, the IHME forecasts the national peak for hospital resource use will have been on April 14, assuming that current social distancing measures are observed through May 2020. The next day, according to the model, will have been the peak in deaths for the nation. 


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The earliest peak date for hospital resource use is predicted to have been on April 1 in Vermont, while the latest is predicted for May 10 in South Dakota. For COVID-19 deaths, the earliest peak date was April 2 in Florida, while the latest is predicted to be May 12 in South Dakota.

The model also estimates the total number of deaths in each state by August 4. New York is projected to have the most deaths at 21,812, with neighboring New Jersey in second at 6,952 deaths. 

After a week of daily updates, the IHME wrote in an update on April 2 that the model has done well in predicting daily deaths. The model has also been updated as stay at home orders are issued across the country and new data becomes available. The initial estimate for total COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. was 81,114 and has increased by less than 1,000 since then to 81,766. 

This table was last updated at 6 p.m. on April 24:

 PEAK DAILY DEATHSPEAK RESOURCE USETOTAL ESTIMATED DEATHS BY AUG 4
United StatesApril 15April 1767,641
AlabamaApril 21April 21306
AlaskaApril 4April 2316
ArizonaApril 25April 22583
ArkansasApril 30April 28125
CaliforniaApril 18April 131719
ColoradoApril 21April 17719
ConnecticutApril 20April 213006
DelawareApril 21April 21146
District of ColumbiaApril 14April 21228
FloridaApril 2April 121620
GeorgiaApril 29April 282254
HawaiiApril 11April 2220
IdahoApril 15April 1064
IllinoisApril 18April 172138
IndianaApril 21April 22971
IowaMay 5May 4365
KansasApril 29April 20318
KentuckyApril 28April 26529
LouisianaApril 14April 131780
MaineApril 15April 1551
MarylandApril 20April 191171
MassachussettsApril 19April 194242
MichiganApril 17April 123379
MinnesotaApril 24April 18360
MississippiApril 25April 22400
MissouriApril 14April 22438
MontanaMarch 30April 1818
NebraskaMay 12May 11347
NevadaApril 7April 7247
New HampshireApril 9April 1570
New JerseyApril 16April 147058
New MexicoApril 18April 13109
New YorkApril 9April 823232
North CarolinaApril 21April 16356
North DakotaMay 15May 14356
OhioApril 14April 19808
OklahomaApril 21April 21335
OregonApril 9April 12122
PennsylvaniaApril 21April 192770
Rhode IslandApril 27April 26611
South CarolinaApril 9April 23283
South DakotaMay 16May 1493
TennesseeApril 14April 4233
TexasApril 24April 231241
UtahMay 1May 1241
VermontApril 16April 1346
VirginiaApril 24April 23762
WashingtonApril 6April 5813
West VirginiaApril 20April 1738
WisconsinApril 5April 11356
WyomingMay 5May 3161

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Published on Apr 02, 2020