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COVID-19 Outbreak Deaths Forecast To Peak April 23 In Florida

Lynne Sladky
Associated Press
Miami Fire Rescue workers wearing personal protective equipment, right, check the temperature of a homeless man complaining of symptoms, during the coronavirus pandemic.

As COVID-19 surges in places throughout the country, Floridians can expect the worst of the infection in about two weeks, according to NPR.

In Florida, the peak is currently forecast to be on April 23, with 149 daily deaths then. The total projected number of deaths for Florida is 4,357, according to an NPR analysis of information from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University Washington and the Census Bureau. As of April 10, the virus was blamed for killing 390 people in Florida, a state with more than 21 million residents.

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation's COVID-19 projections were cited in recent White House briefings and take into account how the pandemic is playing out in several countries around the world. They incorporate the current trend line of deaths in U.S. states and the estimated impact of social distancing measures to predict when each state might reach peak daily deaths and hospital usage.

While projections like these are imprecise, they're useful to policymakers and hospital leaders trying to prepare for surges. The model was designed to give hospitals an idea of how quickly they need to expand capacity and by how much.

Researchers at IHME make frequent updates to the model based on newly available data, and some of those changes have resulted in drastic shifts. The latest major update, made last Sunday, shows fewer people dying over a shorter period of time, the model's lead researcher Chris Murray said.

However, he cautioned that when social distancing measures lift, outbreaks could spark up again.

"If you ease up prematurely the epidemic can rebound right back to the level we are at now in a matter of weeks," Murray said. "So the potential for rebound is enormous if we let up on social distancing."

At the time of this story’s publication, Florida has 17,018 cases and 2,360 hospitalizations, according to the Florida Department of Health. Duval County had seen 11 deaths, 609 cases and 56 hospitalizations. 

State-By-State Forecast COVID-19 Daily Deaths Per 100,000 Residents

(Interactive version of this chart with additional details is available here)

Credit Credit Sean McMinn, Stephanie Adeline, and Daniel Wood/NPR / Source: The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, Census Bureau

A constantly updated Florida county-by-county breakdown of COVID-19 statistics is available here. The full NPR story is available here. The story includes an interactive version of the chart above, along with other charts and additional information about some of the country's coravirus hotspots.