IHME predicts state of Tennessee will significantly flatten COVID-19 curve in April

6 months ago Triangle 0

Written by: Samantha Burgess, editor-in-chief

CHATTANOOGA,Tenn—New predictions from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) reveal that Tennessee will be able to greatly flatten the curve of COVID-19 in the next few weeks thanks to the stay-at-home order and other precautions taken by Governor Lee. 

Previous predictions from the IHME suggested that there would be 159 COVID-19 related deaths in the state of Tennessee with the total number of cases leveling off to 3,259 by May 10.

However, thanks to the new stay-at-home measures, IHME’s new prediction has dropped the numbers significantly to 25 deaths a day with the total leveling off to 587 by May 10.

Governor Lee announced last week that the state planned on acquiring 7,000 hospital beds and would be converting convention centers and other facilities across Tennessee into temporary hospitals.

But, the new model from IHME projects a demand for only 1,232 hospital beds during the peak resource use on April 15. The model also suggests that the Tennessee Department of Health’s count of 800-900 available ventilators far exceeds the predicted need for only 208 ventilators.

In spite of these promising predictions, Dr. David Aronoff, director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Vanderbilt, warned in an article from News Channel 5 that these updated predictions only emphasize the unpredictability of the virus and that the suggested numbers are a best-case scenario.

Dr. Aaron Milestone, a pulmonologist from Franklin, Tenn., added that the new predictions would only be achievable if all Tennesseans complied with Governor Lee’s stay-at-home mandate.

“We can save a whole lot more Tennesseans with the mandate than without,” said Milestone in the Channel 5 article.

Samantha Burgess is a senior communication major with an emphasis in digital media and is editor in chief for the Triangle. Her interests in writing include profiles and feature articles. Burgess can often be found curled up with a good book, writing, listening to music or watching Netflix.