By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily
A new computer model is still predicting that Wyoming will see deaths from the coronavirus, however, both the estimated number of deaths and the projected strain the illness will put on the state’s hospitals have been reduced in the past week.
A computer model created by a University of Washington researcher now reports that the state will see 119 deaths from COVID-19 rather than the 134 predicted last week.
The model also showed that at the peak of the outbreak, predicted to occur in late April, the state will be short eight beds in intensive care units to meet the patient load. The last report predicted a shortage of 22 ICU beds.
The University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation said better information led to the revised projections.
“Thanks to many individuals and organizations, over the past few days we have been able to incorporate a number of different data sources into the IHME’s COVID-19 model, including state-level data on hospital utilization,” the institute said in a website posting accompanying the results of its model.
Wyoming Department of Health officials have said repeatedly they are looking at several different models, but are not backing any.
“We are aware of numerous modeling tools that have been developed, some of which have the ability to incorporate Wyoming-specific parameters and assumptions,” said Kim Deti, a spokeswoman for the department. “But at this point we are not endorsing any specific modeling tool.”
The model predicted the number of deaths in Wyoming caused by coronavirus would gradually increase before peaking at six per day on April 29 and 30 and then declining.
The demand for intensive care unit beds was also predicted to grow through April, reaching a peak of 52 on April 29. The report said Wyoming now has 44 ICU beds.
However, the demand for total hospital beds, peaking at 258, would not exceed the total number available, 1,069, the model showed.