SEATTLE, WA – The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), a prominent health data organization at the University of Washington that provides data to governments and private entities around the world is projecting Maine will see the peak of severe COVID-19 cases in mid-April. If the projections prove accurate, Maine’s hospitals will not collectively have enough hospital beds for patients for about a ten-day period.
The projections are made using data from local and national governments, the World Health Organization, the American Hospital Association and others.
According to the projections, around April 12th Maine’s need for hospital beds will surpass capacity and that disparity will worsen until April 17th. Overall, the projections say that from April 12th until April 23rd Maine will need more hospital beds than we have available.
The model projects that 128 Mainers will die during that same time period.
The projections for the disparity of ICU beds are more severe than the disparity of overall hospital beds, with shortages of ICU beds nearly three times the number of beds available in Maine according to the model, which was last updated on April 1st. IMHE says the projections will be updated again on Saturday April 4.
The projections demonstrate why political leaders and public health officials have called for social distancing efforts to “flatten the curve” to prevent hospitals and health care providers from being overwhelmed by the pandemic.
Maine’s projections look very similar to the overall projections for the United States. However, the model projected the number of deaths in Maine through April 2 would be sixteen but according to Maine CDC, that number was actually seven.
Maine CDC says 94 people in Maine have recovered from COVID-19.
Across the state, the Maine CDC is reporting 376 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in thirteen of Maine’s sixteen counties. Cumberland County has the most confirmed cases at 204 and York County has the second most at 74.
Maine CDC officials are stressing that all Mainers should conduct themselves as if there are confirmed COVID-19 cases in their communities. Governor Janet Mills placed the state under a stay-at-home order effective from April 2nd to April 30th.
Governor Janet Mills, President Donald Trump and other federal and state leaders are working to support local health officials in preparing for the peak of the pandemic.