About a week for Huntsville Hospital to prepare for projected coronavirus surge

Researchers hope the projection models can help hospitals across the country prepare, but some local hospitals are skeptical of the model.

Posted: Apr 12, 2020 6:57 PM
Updated: Apr 13, 2020 8:24 AM

We are a little more than a week away from the projected coronavirus surge in Alabama.

Projections from the University of Washington are updated constantly.

It predicted at least 93 deaths by Saturday. The Alabama Department of Public Health reported exactly 93 deaths on Saturday.

The model predicts that number will double by next week. By the end of May, Alabama could see more than 400 deaths if the model holds true.

Now, you may be asking yourself how hospitals in Alabama can use projection models to prepare. It’s all about the peak date. That’s the day hospitals will need the most amount of resources, like beds and ventilators for coronavirus patients.

Here in Alabama that day is April 19th. If that's accurate, Huntsville Hospital and other hospitals across the state would only have about a week to gather all the supplies it needs.

"I think they are all wrong," Huntsville Hospital CEO David Spillers said during the daily coronavirus briefing on Saturday.

Spillers says he's looked at several projections models for Alabama. The hospital even made it's own projection model. Still, he doesn't believe the information on it is accurate.

"If we keep trending like we are today, we are not going to peak at the end of April," Spillers said.

Doctor Ali Mokdad is the chief strategy officer for population health at the University of Washington. He was part of the team that created this projection model that is now used by the centers for disease control and the white house.

“We are very confident of this average here,” Dr. Mokdad said.

He says he's already seen how these projections can help save lives. After the first coronavirus case and death in the country was confirmed in Washington state, the University of Washington took this information and made changes. It moved its classes online, canceled elective surgeries and started gathering supplies and beds for its hospitals.

“We are now seeing what we are doing in our hospitals what we were doing with this information is helped us a lot to be prepared. We see it. It’s working. What we want for this model is for all country and every state to do exactly the same,” Dr. Mokdad said.

Spillers says they are still preparing for the worst case scenario.

"We're prepared for a massive amount of patients. I don't think we're going to get them," Spillers said.

"We can agree or disagree about numbers. A little bit higher. A little bit lower, but that’s not the issue here. The issue is what are we going to do about this. How can we prevent this disease from circulating or spreading much more. How we can bring it to an end much sooner,“ Dr. Mokdad said.

Despite their disagreement on whether the projection model works or not, both Spillers and Dr. Mokdad can agree that at the end of the day its up to you to stay at home in order to end this pandemic sooner.

"If people will keep doing what they're doing, the numbers are not going to go up," Spillers said.

“We all want to go back to our normal lives. We are all tired of being at home, but we got to hang in there. We have to be serious about it. We have to take care of ourselves and our loved ones," Dr. Mokdad said.

Projections can change depending on certain practices in a state.

For example, before Gov. Kay Ivey issued a stay at home order the model projected thousands of deaths and shortages of beds in Alabama. Now that the stay at home order was issued, the number of deaths significantly dropped and hospitals are no longer projected to see a bed shortage.

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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 134231

Reported Deaths: 2357
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson19441349
Mobile13271291
Montgomery8778179
Madison775480
Tuscaloosa7496119
Shelby584951
Lee582961
Baldwin516550
Marshall390944
Calhoun346641
Etowah342047
Morgan325428
Houston278123
Elmore263247
DeKalb239120
Walker228483
St. Clair227837
Talladega212728
Limestone206120
Cullman188519
Dallas177426
Franklin175529
Russell17442
Autauga173825
Lauderdale168233
Colbert163626
Blount159415
Escambia158425
Jackson154611
Chilton153531
Dale135444
Covington134427
Coffee13078
Pike11879
Chambers115142
Tallapoosa114685
Clarke107717
Marion95729
Butler91339
Barbour8577
Winston73712
Marengo70820
Lowndes65327
Pickens65114
Bibb64210
Randolph63713
Hale62828
Lawrence60922
Geneva5995
Bullock59814
Cherokee59115
Monroe5818
Clay5707
Washington55613
Perry5407
Conecuh53111
Crenshaw53132
Wilcox53111
Henry4865
Macon48020
Fayette4438
Sumter43419
Lamar3632
Choctaw34612
Cleburne3396
Greene30315
Coosa1673
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 187690

Reported Deaths: 2312
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby30460452
Davidson26252298
Hamilton928791
Knox918175
Rutherford915088
Williamson516536
Sumner475896
Wilson341844
Putnam320139
Montgomery302244
Out of TN296825
Unassigned29145
Bradley289317
Madison280061
Sevier257015
Blount247723
Maury230923
Washington223935
Robertson219035
Sullivan212133
Hamblen188525
Tipton178118
Trousdale16517
Gibson160922
Hardeman154826
Wayne14905
Bedford132017
Dyer131813
Dickson123515
Cumberland117518
Fayette117418
Coffee116613
Weakley115719
Anderson115312
Henderson115322
Carter114728
Obion11389
Loudon11356
Greene112943
McMinn110025
Jefferson109714
Macon103520
Warren10267
Monroe102217
Lawrence101211
Hardin100516
Lauderdale95915
Haywood95418
Franklin9518
Lake9142
Roane8724
Carroll85819
Bledsoe8494
McNairy84218
White8139
Cheatham80610
Rhea79812
Hawkins78316
Cocke7419
Marshall7415
Overton7135
Smith69810
Johnson6752
Henry6139
Chester60910
Lincoln6031
Giles58017
Hickman5585
DeKalb55213
Crockett52919
Marion5187
Decatur5037
Fentress4713
Claiborne4405
Campbell4314
Polk38210
Grainger3633
Union3471
Benton3349
Jackson3175
Morgan3113
Unicoi2831
Cannon2800
Grundy2685
Humphreys2443
Sequatchie2293
Meigs2233
Clay2205
Houston2083
Scott2072
Stewart1902
Lewis1851
Moore1641
Van Buren1600
Perry1490
Pickett1102
Hancock1063

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