The coronavirus pandemic will peak in Florida around May 3 and tail off in the first weeks of June, according to projections from the University of Washington. If Floridians adhere to strict social-distancing measures, the state should have enough hospital beds but nevertheless faces a shortage of intensive care space, the institute predicts.
When the disease peaks, the state will need around 16,731 hospital beds for COVID-19 patients, which is lower than the 20,184 beds available, according to projections from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, an independent health research center at the university.
The projections assume that most people follow social distancing and other protective measures.
While 16,731 hospital beds is the most likely number, the projections show a possible range varying from from 2,617 and 45,991 beds, depending on how well spread of the virus is kept in check.
On the peak day, 2,576 intensive-care beds will likely be needed but only 1,695 available. The potential range of ICU beds is 366 to 7,050.
Deaths from COVID-19 in Florida are predicted to rise steadily through April and May and then taper off through June, the institute predicts. The total number of projected deaths for Florida: 6,766.
Nationwide, the crisis will peak around April 14, with more than 230,000 people in the hospital, the institute projects.
As of noon today, Florida reported 5,473 cases with 652 people in the hospital and 63 deaths.
In Polk, today’s noon count was 55 cases and 19 hospitalized. No deaths have been reported in Polk County.
White House coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx referred to the IHME report on Meet the Press on Sunday when she said the disease has infiltrated metro regions more quickly than non-metro areas.
“No state and no metro area will be spared,” Birx said.