IHME: COVID-19 cases in Kansas will peak when?

The latest version of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) COVID-19 model shows Kansas cases will peak April 19.

According to the latest projections, the state is 13 days away from its peak use of hospital resources. The IHME projects Kansas will only need 466 hospital beds and 94 ICU beds to care for COVID-19 patients. No shortage is projected by the IHME.

The IHME projects a peak of 9-10 deaths per day in Kansas between April 16 and April 23. A total of 265 deaths is projected by August 4.

The IHME is part of the University of Washington’s School of Medicine.

Dr. Christopher Murray, Director of the IHME, said revised forecasts reflect “a massive infusion of new data.” 

“As we obtain more data and more precise data, the forecasts we at IHME created have become more accurate,” Murray said. “And these projections are vital to health planners, policymakers, and anyone else associated with caring for those affected by and infected with the coronavirus.”  

According to the IHME, projecting the epidemic in each state depends on predicting the peak. One week ago, the only place that had experienced a peak was Wuhan City. The group says impact of social distancing is now much clearer, as seven European regions have seen a peak in daily deaths as well. Those seven locations are Madrid, Spain; Castile-La Mancha, Spain; Tuscany, Italy; Emilia-Romagna, Italy; Liguria, Italy; Piedmont, Italy; and Lombardy, Italy. 

Murray, however, cautioned that, “As we noted previously, the trajectory of the pandemic will change – and dramatically for the worse – if people ease up on social distancing or relax with other precautions. Our projections are strengthened by the new downturns in more regions. This is evidence that social distancing is crucial. Our forecasts assume that social distancing remains in place until the end of May.”