Ohio’s COVID-19 peak expected sooner than originally predicted, health director says

Surge could be here in the next two weeks.

Ohio’s COVID-19 peak expected sooner than originally predicted, health director says
Dr. Amy Acton shares first look at Ohio’s coronavirus 'curve’ modeling

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) -Predicting when Ohio will endure the hardest punch of COVID-19 has been the job of the state’s Health Director Dr. Amy Acton.

By predicting when it will hit gives hospitals, counties and cities a chance to be prepared for what is being called a surge of patients and positive cases.

Data fed into models by infectious disease experts at both the Cleveland Clinic and Ohio State University (OSU) have produced forecasts.

The original prediction was Ohio would see its worst influx of cases in the first weeks of May.

Acton announced during Monday’s news conference the prediction has changed.

“Our forecast, our weather station, gets a little better each time. The more we feed data into this model the more accurate it gets. So we’re feeling that they’re getting some pretty good numbers. It gets better with each day and more accurate," Acton said. “Our peak is going to be, we’re thinking in a couple of weeks. We’re seeing it more toward mid- to late-April.”

In the past few weeks Acton, along with Gov. Mike DeWine, have continuously said the more the state can stretch out the peak, or flatten the curve, the more time it gives everyone time to prepare and make plans.

“In truth, no hospital system in this world, has ever faced what we’re facing around the world with coronavirus,” Acton said. “So what we’re really saying, is when we say plans what we’re really doing is ongoing, ever-evolving planing. An that isn’t a static one answer, or one fits all.”

In Monday’s news conference, Acton released the latest projected curve based on research from the Infectious Disease Institute at OSU.

The expected peak in Ohio has moved from the first weeks of May, to the middle and end of April according to models from Ohio State University.
The expected peak in Ohio has moved from the first weeks of May, to the middle and end of April according to models from Ohio State University. (Source: Ohio Department of Health)

The research has a prediction of 10,000 news cases a day in Ohio, by late April.

Those are estimated numbers that may not ever show up on the state’s official count, because not everyone will be tested.

Those 10,000 cases are the result of the expected spread of the virus from person to person.

The chart also shows what the case load could have been like if the state had done nothing in the way of a stay at home order, showing Ohio could have been plagued with 62,000 cases a day.

In that scenario the virus would have lasted a shorter period of time, but would have completely overwhelmed hospitals at anything past 10,000 to 20,000 cases a day.

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