Coronavirus Peaks By State: How Do Social Distance Measurements Help?


As COVID-19 spreads across the country, Americans wonder, “When will my state reach its worst point?” “

A widely cited model offers some predictions. The COVID-19 projections from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation have been cited in recent White House briefings and take into account how the pandemic is unfolding in several countries around the world. They incorporate the current trend line of deaths in US states and the estimated impact of social distancing measures to predict when each state can reach peak daily deaths and hospital use.

Although projections like these are imprecise, they are useful for policy makers and hospital leaders who are trying to prepare for outbreaks. The model was designed to give hospitals an idea of ​​how quickly and how much they need to build capacity.

IHME researchers are making frequent updates to the model based on the newly available data, and some of these changes have led to dramatic changes. The latest major update, made on Sunday, shows fewer people dying over a shorter period, according to the model’s lead researcher.

To compare states with large population differences, NPR analyzed the projections by examining deaths per 100,000 population.

Want to see your state projection? Access our state search tool.


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