COVID-19 could lead to more than 80,000 deaths in the US and overwhelm hospital capacity nationally as soon as early April even if social distancing measures are respected, new research showed Thursday.
The US death toll for the pandemic has already soared past 1,000, with 68,000 confirmed infections.
Forecasters at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington’s School of Medicine analyzed the latest COVID-19 data at a local, national and international level.
These include hospitalization and mortality rates, as well as patient date in terms of age, gender and pre-existing health problems.
Specifically, they looked at the time lag between the first fatal cases and public interventions such as shuttering schools and businesses.
They then looked at each American state’s ICU bed and ventilator capacity.
The analysis warned that based on current trends, demand for both would far exceed capacity for COVID-19 patients as early as the second week of April.
During the epidemic peak — also set for some point in April — as many as 2,300 patients could die every day, according to the IHME models.
This was the case even if the population adhered to strict social distancing measures.
“Our estimated trajectory of COVID-19 deaths assumes continued and uninterrupted vigilance by the general public, hospital workers, and government agencies,” said Christopher Murray, IHME director.