News Blog

Model halves COVID-19 death toll prediction in Wisconsin

Forecasts peak hospital usage starting Monday, but much lower than capacity

BY PETER CAMERON

A model from the University of Washington predicts Wisconsin hospitals will reach their peak usage of resources – things like beds and ventilators –starting Monday.

It also predicts 424 deaths in the state by August. That’s a large downgrade from last week, when the model predicted more than 900 deaths by August in Wisconsin from the coronavirus.

At least 99 deaths in Wisconsin have been confirmed from COVID-19, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

The model assumes Wisconsin will continue full social distancing measures until the end of May.

Hospitals in the state have 5,364 beds available, but the model predicts Wisconsin will only need 926 – 17 percent – during the peak. The model had previously estimated the state would see about 46 percent of its beds filled.

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, an independent global health research center at the University of Washington, developed the model.

Wisconsin has seen many fewer confirmed cases of COVID-19 than neighboring states Illinois and Michigan.

The state of New York has been hit hardest by the pandemic. More than 7,000 have died there from the virus. The model now forecasts New York will see nearly 16,000 deaths by August.

It also predicts about 60,000 deaths nationally, down from 90,000 deaths last week. About 15,000 deaths nationally have been attributed to the coronavirus as of Thursday, according to the CDC.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, estimates the virus could kill as many as 240,000 Americans. That’s with social distancing guidelines, banning of gatherings and closing of businesses in place. If the country did nothing, government models estimate 2.2 million would die.

Wisconsin has 2,756 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday, April 8, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. At least 24 Wisconsin residents have died, the department reported Wednesday.

FiveThirtyEight has weighed in on how difficult it is to create an actual model of the spread and toll of the coronavirus.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.