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New model projects dramatic COVID-19 resurgence in Tennessee

New York reports first coronavirus-related death in state
Posted at 2:25 PM, Jun 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-23 13:48:09-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — New projections suggest Tennessee could see a dramatic resurgence of COVID-19 cases in the fall, reaching 100 deaths a day and a total of 3,652 deaths by Oct. 1.

NOTE: The projected death total was later downgraded to 1,995.

That compares to an average of seven deaths per day right now and a total of 441 deaths so far.

The latest projections, from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington, reflect numbers that have been closely watched by the White House and Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee’s office.

It suggests that the case counts could remain relatively steady for the next two months, with a more vigorous resurgence beginning in mid- to late-August.

In addition, the latest IHME model predicts that Tennessee could experience the following:

· 13,848 total COVID-19 infections every day by Oct. 1, up from the current average of 512 daily cases.

· A peak of 2,689 hospital beds needed by Sept. 26, well below the state’s capacity of 7,812 beds.

· A need for 811 Intensive Care Unit beds by that same date, slightly above the current capacity of 629 ICU beds.

· 743 invasive ventilators needed at the fall peak, although the total number of available units is not listed.

The model projects near normal social mobility by the fall.

Gov. Lee and his team indicated this week that their decisions would be dictated by the capacity of hospitals to deal with any surge, rather than the total number of cases and deaths.

Nationally, IHME forecasts 169,890 deaths by Oct. 1.

"We're now able to look ahead and see where states need to begin planning for a second wave of COVID-19," IHME Director Dr. Christopher Murray said in a news release.

"We hope to see our model proven wrong by the swift actions governments and individuals take to reduce transmission."

According to the news release, states with the highest numbers of deaths by October 1 include:

  • New York: 32,310 (range between 31,754 and 33,241)
  • New Jersey: 13,177 (12,881–13,654)
  • California: 8,821(7,151–12,254)
  • Michigan: 8,771 (7,098–14,743)

The states with the earliest uptick in deaths, according to current modeling, are Florida, Arizona, Georgia, and Colorado.

"If the U.S. is unable to check the growth in September, we could be facing worsening trends in October, November, and the following months if the pandemic, as we expect, follows pneumonia seasonality," Dr. Murray said.