LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) A model that projects the potential impact of COVID-19 has lowered its projection of the number of deaths in Nebraska. and shows new hospitalizations and deaths could reach zero by June.
The IHME Projections from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington currently estimates that about 289 people could die from COVID-19 in Nebraska between now and August 1st. Earlier projections of the model showed 400-500 Nebraskans could die from the disease.
The model assumes full social distancing until the end of May in the United States. It shows a steady reduction in the number of hospitalizations and deaths nationwide after a peak this weekend.
The model shows a later peak in Nebraska, where COVID-19 cases could put the most strain on medical resources on about April 26th, when about 10 Nebraskans could die from the disease daily. However, it estimates the State would not face a shortage of beds or ICU beds to treat patients.
Speaking in his daily press briefing Wednesday, Governor Pete Ricketts warned against considering the model an accurate prediction, but called it a “a way to help think about” the State’s response.
The model’s estimates show that the number of new hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 could reach zero in Nebraska by the end of May.
In his press conference Wednesday, the Governor stressed that in order to achieve the best outcome, the State’s distancing recommendations and Directed Health Measures need to be followed closely. “We think we’re going to reach that peak here in Nebraska about the last week of April”, Ricketts said. “So we really want to make a push here for the rest of the month of April to really make sure we’re all following these guidelines to stay home, stay healthy, stay connected.”