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COVID-19 Study: Nebraska has enough hospital beds, but 400-plus people could die

The IHME forecast found that the demand for ventilators and ICU beds will far exceed capacity for COVID-19 patients by the second week of April in the U.S. However, in Nebraska, that is unlikely. (Source: IHME)
The IHME forecast found that the demand for ventilators and ICU beds will far exceed capacity for COVID-19 patients by the second week of April in the U.S. However, in Nebraska, that is unlikely. (Source: IHME)(KOLNKGIN)
Published: Mar. 30, 2020 at 8:11 PM CDT
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COVID-19 will peak in Nebraska at the end of April, that's according to a study released by the Institute for Health Metrics (IHME) at the University of Washington.

The study, which was updated on Monday, is designed to determine the extent and timing of deaths and excess demand for hospital services due to COVID-19 in the United States.

The IHME forecast found that the demand for ventilators and ICU beds will far exceed capacity for COVID-19 patients by the second week of April in the U.S. However, in Nebraska, that is unlikely.

According to the study

, Nebraska has enough regular hospital beds, ICU hospital beds, and ventilators to treat COVID-19 patients.

Nebraska will hit peak resource use on April 30, according to the study. At that time, it's projected that nearly 1,300 beds, about 200 ICU beds, and about 156 ventilators will be needed in the state. According to the study, there are 3,130 available beds and 232 ICU beds in Nebraska.

The study also looked at COVID-19's projected death toll in Nebraska, which was 424. The date range for that goes through early July. At its peak, between April 28 and May 5, the study projects 13 Nebraskans per day could die from COVID-19. That would gradually decrease to one per day by early June.

As of Monday, March 30, three Nebraskans have died related to COVID-19 exposure. That includes a male in his 50s in Douglas County and a female in her 60s in Hall County, both on Friday, and on Monday, an elderly man in Lincoln County.

Governor Ricketts was asked about the study on Monday, but would only say that his office is still trying to take inventory of hospital beds and supplies. He said the state is still doing analysis, but didn't specifically comment on the projected 400-plus deaths.

As a country, the study predicts the U.S. will hit peak resource use by April 15. At that time there will be a hospital bed shortage of about 61,000, an ICU bed shortage of about 15,000, and a ventilator shortage of about 26,000, per day.

When it comes to predicting the U.S. death toll, according to the study, that'll also peak around April 15 or 16, with around 2,200 deaths per day. By early August, it's projected more than 82,000 Americans will have died from COVID-19 related issues.

The study was developed in response to requests from the University of Washington School of Medicine, as well as several US hospital systems and state governments to determine whether COVID-19 could overwhelm the health care system.

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