Experts predict Florida coronavirus cases won't peak until May

Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME). COVID-19 Projections. Seattle, WA: IHME, University of Washington, 2020.

Data compiled by researchers at the University of Washington suggests when each state can expect a peak in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Researchers forecast that the demand for ventilators and beds in intensive care units (ICUs) across the nation will far exceed capacity for COVID-19 patients as early as the second week of April. Deaths are likely to persist into July, even assuming people protect themselves and follow social distancing measures.

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The peak in Florida is projected to be around May 3, at which time the average number of deaths per day in the state will stand at 136. That means hospitals are just a month away from reaching capacity.

The numbers seem to indicate that the state will have enough hospital beds but there will be a shortage of early 300 ICU beds.  The data also suggests that nearly 1,600 patients will need invasive ventilators at that time.

“The reason we’re seeing a delayed peak in Florida is because the virus started circulating later,” said University of Washington Population Health Chief Strategy Officer Dr. Ali Mokdad. 


Dr. Ali Mokdad is one of the lead researchers on the project tracking coronavirus cases and deaths in every state. According to their data, Florida is projected to “go back to normal sometime in mid-June, towards the end of June,” said Dr. Mokdad. “The numbers could come down in Florida if we stay at home and we have seen that work.”

It’s happened in California, Dr. Mokdad said, where the Golden State was originally projected to have more than 6,000 coronavirus deaths. Since shutting down, it’s now hovering at a projected 5,000 deaths.

“Florida can do better,” said Dr. Mokdad. There is a lot of things riding on this est that we feel that will help in saving lives and help make a better and sound decision.”

Dr. Mokdad has more than 50 people working on his team. Their next goal is to break down the data even further to county projections and peaks.

Scientists at the University of Washington predict that by August more than 5,500 Floridians will have died. 


IHME | COVID-19 Projections

Explore hospital bed use, need for intensive care beds, and ventilator use due to COVID-19 based on projected deaths for all 50 U.S. states and District of Columbia.


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