By Shereen Siewert
Wisconsin will see coronavirus cases peak in mid to late May, with the crisis lasting into July, according to projections from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), an independent global health research center at the University of Washington.
The projection indicates more than 850 people will likely die in Wisconsin due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There are 1,119 confirmed cases in Wisconsin as of March 29, according to Johns Hopkins University, which is tracking the spread of COVID-19 worldwide.
The report, which assumes social distancing is maintained and the governor’s “Safer at Home” order remains in effect, indicates about 1,350 people will be hospitalized at the peak of the crisis and 13 people dying each day.
Hospitals statewide should have enough total beds, with 5,634 available statewide, but intensive care beds are likely to see a shortage, the projections show.
IHME produced forecasts which show hospital bed use, need for intensive care beds, and ventilator use due to COVID-19 based on projected deaths for all 50 U.S. states. They were developed to provide hospitals, policy makers, and the public with crucial information about how expected need aligns with existing resources, so that cities and states can best prepare.
The data for Wisconsin show a peak date later than the national average of April 14, when more than 230,000 people nationwide are expected to be hospitalized.
During a news briefing this week, Wisconsin Bureau of Communicable Diseases Chief Medical Officer Ryan Westegaard said that about 20 percent of people who test positive require hospitalization. Based on that preliminary data, about 6,800 people would test positive by the May 22 peak date, though currently about 10 times more people are potentially infected than the data show because of a lack of testing.
The projections are based on data from the federal and state governments, and the World Health Organization to create a four-month statistical model.
See the full data set for all 50 states here.