April 7, 2020 – In Breaking News – CNN
An influential model tracking the coronavirus pandemic in the United States now predicts that fewer people will die and fewer hospital beds will be needed compared to its estimates from last week.
As of Monday, the model predicted the virus will kill 81,766 people in the United States over the next four months, with just under 141,000 hospital beds being needed.
That’s about 12,000 fewer deaths — and 121,000 fewer hospital beds — than the model estimated on Thursday.
A “massive infusion of new data” led to the adjustments, according to the model’s maker, Dr. Christopher Murray, who serves as director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington School of Medicine.
Additional data on the pandemic’s trajectory — in the United States and around the world — has always been expected, along with methodological changes to fine-tune the predictions.
And from the start, researchers at IHME, who built the model, have emphasized that it would change.
(Dr. Christopher Murray, Director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, describes the trajectory of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic based on new data analyses and forecasting. Courtesy of Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) and YouTube. Posted on March 26, 2020.)
But the newest version of the model underscores just how important social distancing continues to be: It assumes that those measures — such as closing schools and businesses — will continue until August, and it still predicts tens of thousands of deaths.
While the analysis has been repeatedly cited by Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House’s coronavirus response coordinator, the administration’s current guidelines only recommend social distancing through April 30.
Flood of new data triggered adjustments
The model essentially predicts how social distancing measures will affect the trajectory of coronavirus in the US.
Everyone agrees that social distancing measures will save lives, but how quickly the distancing works — and how dramatically it reduces infections — has not been clear.
When the model was first released, the only place that had reached its coronavirus “peak” was Wuhan, China, according to the IHME researchers.
But as of Monday, seven locations in Spain and Italy appear to have reached their apexes as well, providing a flood of new data for the model to analyze.
Those regions seem to have reached their peaks more quickly in the wake of social distancing measures, according to the researchers.
(New Orleans has become a hot spot for coronavirus cases as the state scrambles to keep up with the strain the outbreak is placing on the medical system. Courtesy of ABC News and YouTube. Posted on Apr 6, 2020.)
That means that some states — such as Florida, Virginia, Louisiana and West Virginia — are now expected to hit their peaks earlier than previously expected, potentially giving them less time to prepare.
Continue reading… Adjusted coronavirus model predicts fewer people in US will need hospitals, but 82,000 will still die by August
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