COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The Ohio Department of Health director said the state’s coronavirus peak will happen in late April to the middle of May based on new modeling shown Friday.
However, that date could continue to move back, essentially flattening, as ODH Director Dr. Amy Acton has called it.
Acton explained during a briefing Friday that flattening the curve will make the peak date later, but the peak itself should be much less severe, the flatter the curve gets.
The farther away the peak date gets, Acton said, is a blessing for Ohio.
“Every day that we’re doing this great social distancing and we’re slowing the spread of infection, we’re slowing the doubling time and spread, is another day Gen. Harris and all the hospitals and all the providers are getting ready (for the peak), to try to find more equipment for the front lines,” Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton said Friday. “It’s another day that we don’t overwhelm our hospital system.”
Acton did not mention a specific date Friday as to when Ohio can expect to see the peak of the virus.
An earlier projection from quantitative epidemiologists at the Infectious Diseases Institute at the Ohio State University stated Ohio will peak with nearly 10,000 cases per day around April 25. That projection takes into account preventative measures taken by all Ohioans.
Acton called the modeling a “rough gauge.”
“It gets more refined with time, but it’s based on assumptions that are incomplete by the nature of the fact that we have a disease that we don’t know that much about yet,” she said, adding that deaths and illness follow weeks behind the spread of the infection.
“I feel very confident that we’re using that we’re using the best modeling available to make the decisions we’re making,” said Acton.
Dr. Acton says there will be much more talk about modeling as the pandemic continues to unfold. She says there is one thing everyone generating the models agrees on, the need for continued social distancing.
“There’s slight differences in how big the blue is. We’re not yellow in Ohio. We’ve moved to the blue phase,” said Acton “How tall that is, how many cases we will have, how many deaths, when exactly that peak will be, there’s some differences. I can tell you that we’ve looked at worst case scenario and best case scenario. I feel that our modelers at OSU are giving us the most realistic scenario.”
“Every move Ohioans are making is making a dent,” Acton said Friday, April 3. “That’s why you see the date for the peak pushing out further.”
Data released March 31 by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation says Ohio’s peak will be near April 19.
According to the latest IHME data, Ohio is projected to have a total of 1,898 COVID-19 deaths, with a peak of 69 per day at the peak. The state is projected to need 6,716 hospital beds and 1,009 ICU beds, far short of capacity. The IHME projects Ohio will need 807 ventilators at the peak.
Ohio is currently reporting a total of 81 deaths.