LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Twenty-six people have died in Nevada from COVID-19: 23 in Southern Nevada and three in Washoe County. The number of cases statewide now tops 1,100.
So, what does the future hold?
The latest numbers from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, or IHME, give us a stark look at the future of COVID-19 in Nevada.
It is projected that our state will have a total of 506 coronavirus deaths by August 4th. Additionally, the peak of 15 daily deaths in our state is less than three weeks away.
“I don’t think it’s good at saying on April 20th, we’ll have exactly this many cases,” said Brian Labus, infectious disease expert and Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at UNLV.
Labus said while the models are useful for looking at the big picture, there are still a lot of unknowns right now. That includes how effective social distancing truly is and how easily asymptomatic people can transmit COVID-19.
“The question is how many people will be infected and what’s the real death rate we’re dealing with in our population … It’s based on a lot of different things: based on the age of our population, access to medical care and if we have supplies, the staff and the beds,” Labus said.
IHME projections show that April 22nd is when Nevada’s hospital resource use will peak, resulting in a shortage of 60 ICU beds.
Critical care specialist Dr. Jonathan Baktari, CEO of e7 Health, said more testing will also give us more accurate predictions.
“We have not tested either asymptomatic people or we have not tested people who have minor symptoms who just don’t qualify for testing, based on availability right now,” Baktari said. “So, to know where the curve is going to go, we need to have that data.”
Abbott Laboratories is working on making a “rapid test” that can detect COVID-19 in a matter of minutes. Baktari said if every hospital in Nevada can get them, we will have a better idea of what is to come.