IHME forecast: OK COVID-19 pandemic to peak April 21st

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The peak of the coronavirus outbreak is about 21 days away for Oklahoma, according to projections published by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, though its numbers change daily based on new data.

“No state, no metro area will be spared. And the sooner that we react and the sooner the states and the metro areas react and ensure that they put in full mitigation at the same time understanding exactly what their hospitals need, then we’ll be able to move forward together and protect the most Americans,” White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx said Sunday on NBC’s Meet The Press, referring to IHME’s national forecast.

The nation is on track for a shortage of more than 54,000 hospital beds at the height of the pandemic, according to the IHME. That’s if all states institute social distancing and other prevention measures by April 2nd. If not, IHME warns the numbers will increase.

The IHME expects the pandemic to peak in Oklahoma on April 21st. The IHME predicts Oklahoma will need 501 invasive ventilators. On a positive front, the organization does not see Oklahoma having a major hospital bed shortage, if at all.

Based on current death rates, the IHME is forecasting the COVID-19 daily death toll to spike at an average of 42 in Oklahoma by April 21st, with a total of 1,100 Oklahomans losing their lives to COVID-19 during the pandemic’s first wave.

Nationwide, IHME is predicting more than 2,200 deaths on a single day at the height of the pandemic on April 15th, with the daily death toll finally dropping to zero by mid-July. By early August, it calculates that nearly 84,000 people in the U.S. will have died from COVID-19, if the IHME’s predictions hold true.

The group says more action will be needed to avoid a second wave of COVID-19 cases.

“By end the of the first wave of the epidemic, an estimated 97% of the population of the United States will still be susceptible to the disease, so avoiding reintroduction of COVID-19 through mass screening, contact tracing, and quarantine will be essential to avoid a second wave,” the organization states on its website.

The IHME says its forecast model is designed to address the planning needs of hospitals and local governments, with data coming from local and national governments, hospital networks and other sources including the World Health Organization and American Hospital Association.

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