Exponential growth of COVID19 in Ames, IA
Liz Specht offers an analysis to look at how quickly hospital beds will fill up in the US due to severe COVID19 symptoms. Let’s perform this analysis for Ames.
The assumptions here are that there will be a
- doubling of individuals with COVID19 every 6 days,
- 10% of those individuals will need hospitalization, and
- hospitalization lasts 3-6 weeks.
The details for Ames, IA are that
- population is 65,000,
- Mary Greeley Medical Center has 220 beds, and
- 1 individual is sick today (11 March 2020).
To be clear, I have no evidence to support that somebody in Ames already has COVID19, but people are coming back from international travel and Iowa does have 13 presumptive positive cases, most stemming from a single cruise.
But, the CDC’s testing requirements are that either
- you need to have traveled to either China, Korea, Italy, Japan, or Iran or
- have come into contact with a confirmed COVID19 case.
So even if you have the symptoms and have been traveling, i.e. on airplanes and in airports with potentially infected individuals, you cannot be tested. This means that many people have COVID19 and are not confirmed, i.e. we basically have no idea who in Ames or Iowa or the US have COVID19.
As Liz Specht suggested, if only 30% of beds are available in Ames then we run out of beds around May 6th. If all beds are available, we run out of beds around May 15th. If some of these assumptions are off, we run out of hospital beds a couple of weeks before or after these predictions.
We need to do everything we can to flatten the curve. Here is a list of what you should do.
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