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RI COVID-19 Peak Predicted May 3

[CREDIT: RIDOH] A graph shows the number of hospital beds predicted in blue with social distancing adherence, and in red without social distancing adherence.

[CREDIT: RIDOH] A graph shows the number of hospital beds predicted in blue with social distancing adherence, and in red without social distancing adherence.
[CREDIT: RIDOH] A graph shows the number of hospital beds predicted in blue with social distancing adherence, and in red without social distancing adherence. RI’s COVID-19 peak is expected around May 3.
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PROVIDENCE, RI —Rhode Island’s outbreak model predicts the rough COVID-19 peak at May 3, Gov. Gina Raimondo said, with either 2,000 dead by October, or 4,000, depending on social distancing adherence.

Dr. Nicole Alexander Scott, director fo the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) reported there have been 105 total deaths from COVID-19 to date, which includes nine reported since Wednesday and another backlogged fatality reports over the last few days.

“I wish we were out of the woods. We are not out of the woods yet,” Raimondo said.

Raimondo praised the team that created the model, based on a base model provided by Johns Hopkins University and additional input from the University of Washington. Using that information, she said, her COVID-19 model task force, comprised of epidemiologists, toxicologists, analysts, economists, data scientists and coders, and also staff from DOH and Brown University for their work on the model.

However, she cautioned, “It’s not a perfect model,” she said. Raimondo made particular note of the fact that the model is based on hospitalizations, since that is a number they are most sure of. She pointed out that the model is only based on a relative few days of hospitalization data since the state began social distancing under the stay-home order.

According to the RI COVID model, with social distancing rules strictly followed, the state will see about 2,250 hospitalizations at the COVID-19 peak. At that rate, she said, the state may not need the surge capacity hospital space it has been preparing for the last few weeks. But that will require staying indoors, lots of hand-washing, and wearing masks to prevent the virus’s spread.

“It will be difficult. It will be very difficult. But it is possible,” Raimondo said.

The alternative, if people begin to relax their diligence on social distancing rules and protecting themselves, the state is predicted to need about 4,300 hospital beds for the serious COVID-19 patients.

“I don’t think we’re going to be there,” Raimondo said, “Because you’re doing an awesome job of social distancing.”

The Governor said the prediction is far better than it looked about 10 days ago, when is appeared as if Rhode Island might see 6,000 or 7,000 hospitalizations from COVID-19.

Ending social distancing, opening schools

Raimondo said that while the current job Rhode Islanders are doing with social distancing is improving the impact of the disease on the state, she doesn’t expect Rhode Island will be able to keep up the stay-home and business closures indefinitely.

“It can’t be that way forever,” Raimondo said.

Raimondo said that when the state is opened up again, Rhode Islanders should expect to see new COVID-19 infections, but that the state’s medical response will be better prepared for a new spike. Among those improved measures, she said, will be:

  • More hospital beds available
  • Better, more rigorous testing
  • Adequate personal protective equipment (masks, gloves, etc.)
  • More time having researched treatment

Regarding schools, which have been physically closed down and relegated to distance learning for weeks, Raimondo said she will wail another week to determine whether to physically open schools again this academic year.

“I am not ready to throw in the towel yet and say school is closed the rest of the year,” Raimondo said.

RI posts COVID-19 data dashboard  

The Governor unveiled a new data dashboard on RIDOH’s website. The dashboard will be updated daily at noon.

RI Havens offers safe quarantine space for homeless is a new website that connects those in need of a safe space to quarantine with hotel rooms across the state offered at significantly discounted rates – some as low as $25 a night. The website is part of a wider effort to meet the basic needs of all Rhode Islanders in quarantine and isolation during this pandemic.



Rob Borkowski
Author: Rob Borkowski

Rob has worked as reporter and editor for several publications, including The Kent County Daily Times and Coventry Courier, before working for Gatehouse in MA then moving home with Patch Media. Now he's publisher and editor of Contact him at [email protected] with tips, press releases, advertising inquiries, and concerns.

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