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Cornelius News

COVID-19: About 10 days to peak in NC


U.S. Air Force Graphic by Rosario “Charo” Gutierrez

April 6. By Dave Yochum. There were 733 Mecklenburg County residents with COVID-19 and six related deaths according to the Mecklenburg County Health Dept. Statewide, there have been 31 deaths, according to the latest data from the NC Dept. of Health & Human Services.

Meanwhile, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation now says we are about 10 days away from the peak in North Carolina, with fewer deaths predicted compared to their forecast from last week.

The IHME projections are updated using the daily death counts from around the country. 

Not every state showed improvement in their projections.

The relatively early stay-at-home order in North Carolina combined with increasing compliance apparently helped.

An ICU bed shortage is no longer predicted, and the total death count forecast is down, according to the IHME.

Nevertheless, to meet the demand that is expected to rise quickly during the next two weeks, Novant and Atrium plan to open a 3,000-bed field hospital on the campus of UNC-Charlotte.

Some demographics from the NCDHHS:

Percent cases by gender: 52 percent female, 47 percent male
Deaths by gender: 90 percent male
Deaths age 65 and older: 70 percent
Deaths 25-64: 30 percent
NC patients on ventilators: 691
Ventilators in NC hospitals: 2,818
Empty ICU beds in NC: 856

Atrium and Novant have postponed non-essential surgeries and procedures to limit exposure and slow spread, as well as restricting visitors.

10 more days?

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), an independent global health research organization at the University of Washington School of Medicine, says COVID-19-related deaths in North Carolina will peak mid-month at around 30 per day.

The IHME modeling suggests the actual peak in North Carolina will occur April 15 when the COVID death rate statewide will be about 30 in a single day.

The NC Covid-related death rate will decline dramatically in May, to 1-2 per day at the beginning of the month, according to IHME.

But it means about 10 more days of increasing death rates in North Carolina.

The IHME based its outlook on several factors, including when schools were closed (March 14), a stay-at-home order (March 30), non-essential services closed (March 30) and travel severely limited (not implemented).