Dallas County Judge: Model Predicts 5,000 Texas COVID-19 Deaths with Shelter-in-Place, Nearly 600K Without

A patient is tested by a healthcare professional at a drive-thru testing site for COVID-19 at United Memorial Medical Center Thursday, March 19, 2020, in Houston. For most people, the coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with …
AP Photo/David J. Phillip

The chief executive officer of Dallas County, Texas, unveiled a model that predicts up to 583,000 Texans could die from COVID-19 without effective action. The model presents a best-case scenario where only 5,000 would die with the implementation of a three-month state-wide shelter-in-place lockdown.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins revealed the model he used to make decisions about the county during a Sunday-night press conference where he announced a shelter-in-place order for his county — the state’s second most populated. The charts utilized by the judge were produced by CoronaActNow.org.

Jenkins ordered all Dallas County residents to “shelter-in-place” until at least April 3. He expects the order will be continued beyond that point.

Dallas County Health Director Dr. Philip Huang joined Judge Jenkins in the press conference and explained the charts’ significance. He explained that under the current state-wide guidelines requiring social distancing and the shutdown of certain activities, hospital beds in Texas would be filled to capacity by April 28. He said that capacity would never be reached if a state-wide shelter-in-place order were given.

One chart from the model used by Judge Jenkins and other counties in Texas predicts the outcomes for Texans under four different levels of governmental action. If accurate, the first scenerio, no action, would result in a 70 percent infection rate and the deaths of 583,000 Texans. The CoronaActNow group’s model predicts Texas hospitals will become overloaded on April 12 if no action were taken.

Texas 3-Month Projection (Chart: Dallas County, Texas)

Texas 3-Month Projection (Chart: CoronaActNow.org via Dallas County, Texas)

If the numbers in the chart are accurate, the plan of three months of social distancing does not have significantly better results. The model Jenkings presented predicts a two-week delay in hospital overload conditions, but still has a 70 percent infection rate and predicts the deaths of 430,000 Texans.

With a three month shelter-in-place, the model predicts only a two percent infection rate and no hospital overload. Deaths are predicted to be about 5,000 Texans.

The second chart illustrates the hospitalization rates under the same conditions.

Chart unveiled on March 22 by Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins comparing predicted hospitalization rates with various forms of government action. (Chart: Dallas County, Texas)

Chart built by CoronaActNow.org is unveiled on March 22 by Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins comparing predicted hospitalization rates with various forms of government action. (Chart: Dallas County, Texas)

Breitbart Texas reached out to Governor Greg Abbott’s office for a reaction to the CoronaActNow.org predictions presented by Judge Jenkins and Dr. Huang. An immediate response was not available Sunday night.

The fully interactive charts are available at CoronaActNow.org. The scenarios for the model are described here. According to their website, “CovidActNow.org was created by a team of data scientists, engineers, and designers in partnership with epidemiologists, public health officials, and political leaders to help understand how the COVID-19 pandemic will affect their region.”

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior news contributor for the Breitbart Texas-Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Price is a regular panelist on Fox 26 Houston’s What’s Your Point? Sunday-morning talk show. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX and Facebook.



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