Social distancing proving its worth in projected COVID-19 numbers

SPOKANE, Wash.– The Spokane County hospital system is in good shape despite a recent surge in COVID-19 cases.

The Spokane Regional Health District said the hospitals in the county are well prepared to handle the expected increase in patients.

A study from University of Washington’s school of medicine showed us how even with the precautions in place, the hospitals may get slightly overwhelmed.

The study shows the worst of this pandemic hitting Washington and Idaho in April.

At that point, they project 437 people needed an intensive care bed in Washington, but there are only 341 in the state.

In Idaho, about 181 ICU beds may be needed, but the state only has 151.

That’s why social distancing is so important.

“As incredibly boring as staying home can become, especially if you have little kids or live alone, it’s very boring but it’s absolutely life saving for everyone else,” Dr. Peter McGough of UW Medicine said.

UW Medicine puts the pandemic in perspective with this graph below.

Wa Total Deaths (1)

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Right now, 176 people have died from COVID-19 in Washington.

If we keep up social distancing, the projected total goes up to about 1,400 by July 1.

That’s a lot, but if we didn’t social distance, then the projected total could have been about 2,800 deaths in Washington.

The same story comes from Idaho where there are just four deaths right now.

Idaho Total Deaths

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But, by mid-summer the study shows there could be about 325 deaths.

If these precautionary measures weren’t in place, then that death total could have been closer to 650 by August.

The study shows that the entire United States could see about 81,000 deaths from COVID-19 by August.

That’s a devastating number, but again it’s compared to the 160,000 deaths there could be without social distancing.

The good news is also that this study tells us the pandemic could be over in Washington and Idaho by July 1.

If things stay on course like they are right now, then there are 0 deaths per day by that date.

READ: First COVID-19 death reported in Spokane County

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