Florida won’t see peak coronavirus impacts until May, study predicts

Coronavirus

FILE – In this March 17, 2020, file photo, Laurie Kuypers, a registered nurse, reaches into a car to take a nasopharyngeal swab from a patient at a drive-through COVID-19 coronavirus testing station for University of Washington Medicine patients in Seattle. The federal government is rushing protective equipment to states for medical workers who will be on the front lines of the growing coronavirus pandemic. But at least in two states promised deliveries are falling far short of requests and even include expired items. Washington state has received at least two shipments and state health officials say they need more. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to the coronavirus pandemic may be farther out for Floridians than many previously thought, according to a new study.

The University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation has released one of the first models to project the impacts of coronavirus in every state across the country. The models were developed using state and national public health data, as well as information from the World Health Organization, hospital capacity and utilization data.

Assuming that strong social distancing measures and other protective measures will remain in place, the report was able to predict health service utilization and deaths due to COVID-19 by day for the next four months for each state.

According to projections in Florida, there are still 33 days until the state and its hospitals will be at peak resource use.

Source: IHME

So far, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has not implemented statewide closure of non-essential services, travel limitations or stay-at-home orders – all playing into the health of Floridians.

Those factors could spur up to 174 COVID-19 deaths per day by May 20, according to the models.

Florida could be facing an ICU bed shortage of more than 840 and see up to 6,766 deaths by Aug. 4, according to the data presented by the IHME.

Currently, state officials are reporting more than 5,400 cases and 63 deaths from the virus.

Source: IHME

Although the nation’s timeline is far sooner than what may be the peak in Florida’s fight against the virus, the data predicts that the United States could be facing more than 2,200 coronavirus-related deaths per day by April 15.

The data comes as President Donald Trump extended social distancing guidelines through April 30, while the national death toll exceeds 2,400.

In a press briefing on Sunday, Trump said the United States would be doing well if deaths were “down to 100,000.”

“It’s a horrible number,” Trump said, adding “We all together have done a very good job.”

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