Model: Florida Coronavirus Won’t Peak Until May

Florida won’t see the peak of the coronavirus pandemic until much later than other states, according to a model created by the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.

Nationwide, the coronavirus is forecast to peak in the U.S. around April 17 but Florida isn’t expected to peak until two weeks later around May 3.

IHME’s analysis, based on observed death rates, estimates that over the next four months in the US, approximately 81,000 people will die from the virus. Estimates range between 38,000 and 162,000 US deaths.

In Florida, the model forecasts that 6,766 people will die as a result of the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic with a peak of 174 deaths per day on May 3, 2020.

Researchers also forecast that demand for ventilators and beds in US hospital intensive care units (ICUs) will far exceed capacity for COVID-19 patients as early as the second week of April.

Deaths related to the current wave of COVID-19 in the US are likely to persist into July, even assuming people protect themselves and their communities by strongly adhering to social distancing measures and by taking other precautions advised by public health officials.

“Our estimated trajectory of COVID-19 deaths assumes continued and uninterrupted vigilance by the general public, hospital and health workers, and government agencies,” said Dr. Christopher Murray, Director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington’s School of Medicine.

“The trajectory of the pandemic will change – and dramatically for the worse – if people ease up on social distancing or relax with other precautions. We encourage everyone to adhere to those precautions to help save lives.”

The forecast predicts that 41 states will need more ICU beds than they currently have available and that 11 states may need to increase their ICU beds by 50% or more to meet patient needs before the current wave of the pandemic ends (The end is defined as fewer than 10 deaths per day nationwide.)