Researchers at the University of Washington released a new model that reports Texas will need fewer ICU beds for COVID-19 patients than previously forecast. The projections also suggest a lower number of deaths and an adequate supply of invasive ventilators on hand.
A Coronavirus predictive model released by the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) shows Texas is about 12 days from peak resource utilization in dealing with COVID-19 patients, according to an article by Daniel Friend at The Texan. The model reports that Texas will have an adequate supply of general hospital beds, ICU spots, and invasive ventilators to meet the demand during the predicted peak on April 19.
Researchers at IHME brought together a “massive infusion of new data” from multiple states, the article reports. Those states included New York, Massachusetts, Georgia, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Florida, and California. Those states account for about 55 percent of all COVID-19 confirmed cases in the United States, according to Johns Hopkins University statistics on April 7.
“As we obtain more data and more precise data, the forecasts we at IHME created have become more accurate,” IHME head Dr. Christopher Murray said in a press release. “And these projections are vital to health planners, policymakers, and anyone else associated with caring for those affected by and infected with the Coronavirus.”
On the current peak date of April 19, the model states Texas will need about 3,682 general hospital beds. The number of beds available is predicted to be 28,633. Texas is predicted to have 2,259 ICU beds available on that date and will need approximately 712 of them. The model predicts a need for 605 invasive ventilators on that date.
In a press conference on Monday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott reported the availability of 6,080 ventilators. That number was down by nearly 3,000 from his report on Friday where the governor said 8,741 were available.
During his Monday briefing to Texans, Governor Abbott told reporters the state distributed nearly 1.7 face masks, 210,000 face shields, 2.7 million gloves, 169,000 gowns, and nearly 8,000 coveralls. He went on to say the state received 2.5 million masks in the past 24 hours. he expects another 3 million masks to arrive later this week.
The governor said these PPE items are coming “primarily through entities that our new supply chain team is working to contract with” and are in addition to federal supplies that are still coming in.
The IHME charts also predict a lower than anticipated number of COVID-19-related deaths. The researchers predict the number of deaths will peak on April 20 at 72 per day and decline after that. The total number of deaths in Texas is predicted to be approximately 2,025 by August 4, the chart states. The range of error indicates the deaths could be as low as 1,182 or as high as 3,285.
The latest statistics available at Johns Hopkins University show Texas currently has 8,283 confirmed cases and 158 deaths. The largest number of cases is in Harris County (Houston) with 1,809. Dallas County reports 1,261 confirmed COVID-19 cases. Harris County also now reports the largest number of deaths in the state (22) while Dallas and Tarrant (Fort Worth) Counties show 19 and 18 respectively.
Dr. Murray reminded the public that “if people ease up on social distancing or relax with other precautions,” then the projections would likely change “dramatically for the worse.”
He also noted the forecast assumes, just as the previous predictions assumed, that “social distancing remains in place until the end of May.”
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 Face