Mar 31, 2020 - Health

The coronavirus outbreak won't peak in every state at once

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
Data: IHME COVID-19 health service utilization forecasting team; Cartogram: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Although the coronavirus is expected to peak in the U.S. in two weeks, many states will see their individual peaks well after that, according to a model by the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.

Why it matters: States like Virginia and Maryland have more time to prepare for their systems to be maximally strained — if they make good use of that time.

States' coronavirus peaks are defined as the point at which there is the most demand for resources, namely hospital beds and ventilators.

  • This is also the point at which the most health care workers will be needed to care for coronavirus patients.

Some experts warn that states expected to face the hardest hit later in the year aren't using their lead time well.

  • "The states that are going to be affected last need to start husbanding resources now, because the feds could get tapped out ... by some of these early states, particularly New York, which has absorbed a lot of federal resources," former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb told me.
  • Even though they may not be seeing a huge number of cases now, states like Texas and Florida should stop doing elective surgeries now in order to preserve personal protective equipment — like masks, gowns and gloves — for their health care workers, Gottlieb added.

The bottom line: Coronavirus outbreaks, both globally and in the U.S., have seemed manageable until it's too late. For states that so far aren't hit hard, there's no such thing as over-preparing.

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Updated 30 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 6,377,596 — Total deaths: 380,180 — Total recoveries — 2,728,363Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 1,831,806 — Total deaths: 106,180 — Total recoveries: 463,868 — Total tested: 17,757,838Map.
  3. 2020: N.C. governor says GOP should plan for a "scaled-down convention."
  4. Public health: Protests against police brutality threaten coronavirus response — Controlling the virus in nursing homes won't be easy.
  5. Business: More than 1 in 6 black workers lost jobs between February and April.
  6. Tech: Zoom revenues and profit soar as pandemic propels videoconferencing.
18 hours ago - Health

Controlling the coronavirus in nursing homes won't be easy

Data: FREOPP.org; Map: Naema Ahmed/Axios

The structural issues that have plagued U.S. nursing homes for years will make it difficult for them to prevent coronavirus infections and deaths, even though we now understand the high-risk nature of the facilities.

Driving the news: Within the 80% of nursing homes that have reported coronavirus data to the federal government, nearly 26,000 residents died, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced yesterday.

17 hours ago - Health

Protests against police brutality threaten coronavirus response

Protesters in Philadelphia on June 1. Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

Protests against police brutality have prompted the closure of coronavirus test sites across the country, including in Pennsylvania, Florida, California and Illinois, Politico reports.

Why it matters: This adds to concerns that the protests themselves create an environment in which the virus can easily spread, particularly if and when protesters aren't wearing masks or social distancing.