The University of Washington’s Institute of Health has updated its numbers concerning the impact of COVID- 19 on the nation and California, and it is very good news.
The University of Washington’s COVID-19 projections, assuming full social distancing through May, is predicting the number of cases nationally will peak April 15. The peak was previously predicted to not happen until the end of April or even mid-May.
The institute also lowered their projected number of deaths nationally from 100,000 – 250,00 down to 81,766.
The institute’s numbers for California are even more heartening. It appears that California has leveled off. California was previously projected to peak April 26 and that has been updated to happen in eight days on April 14.
The institute has also predicted a lower number of deaths in California at 1,783 deaths in total.
In terms of resources it is projected that California will need 4,869 hospital beds due to the virus in a state that has 26, 654 available. The institute also noted that the state will need 798 ICU beds and 1,993 are available.
California’s ability to stay ahead of the surge in patients has been attributed to Governor Gavin Newsom calling for a stay at home order on March 19. Though some Central Valley politicians and residents have objected to what they considered as “Way Overboard,” the order has been attributed to saving thousands of lives.
Because the state’s demand will be well below the supply of resources, California is lending 500 state-owned ventilators to the national stockpile for redistribution to where they are needed the most.
According to Scott Lay’s The Nooner, Newsom announced more good news Saturday during his press release.
Stanford has developed a serology test for which FDA approval is expected soon. Other researchers, including at UCSF, are working on similar tests. Unlike pharmaceutical approvals that require phased trials that can take a year or more, diagnostic tests can be quickly approved once the validity is confirmed.
“Many experts say that finding out who has had it and recovered it while being asymptomatic at this point is more important. That is determined through serology (blood) testing for antibodies. When a sufficient percentage of the population (I’ve heard 50-70%) have antibodies, the phenomenon of “herd immunity” arrives and the nasty little bug finds it hard to find new hosts.
Even without testing the entire population, a broad demographic and geographic sampling, an identification of a degree of herd immunity would provide a scientific basis for returning things to normal,” said Lay.