Mar 31, 2020 - Health

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

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.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Go deeper

U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced plans Tuesday to make wearing face coverings mandatory statewide for most people over the age of 10 when inside public places. The measure is effective Friday and applies to places like retailers, on public transportation and government buildings.

By the numbers: More than 98,900 people have died from the novel coronavirus and over 1.6 million have tested positive in the U.S. Over 384,900 Americans have recovered and more than 14.9 million tests have been conducted.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8 a.m. ET: 5,614,458 — Total deaths: 350,958 — Total recoveries — 2,307,510Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8 a.m. ET: 1,681,418 — Total deaths: 98,929 — Total recoveries: 384,902 — Total tested: 14,907,041Map.
  3. Federal response: DOJ investigates meatpacking industry over soaring beef pricesMike Pence's press secretary returns to work.
  4. Congress: House Republicans to sue Nancy Pelosi in effort to block proxy voting.
  5. Tech: Twitter fact-checks Trump's tweets about mail-in voting for first timeGoogle to open offices July 6 for 10% of workers.
  6. Public health: Coronavirus antibodies could give "short-term immunity," CDC says, but more data is neededCDC releases guidance on when you can be around others after contracting the virus.
  7. What should I do? When you can be around others after contracting the coronavirus — Traveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

The polarized pandemic election

A Trump supporter protests Pennsylvania's stay-at-home order, during a May 15 rally outside the Capitol in Harrisburg. Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

President Trump is going all-in on pushing for a rapid, robust return to normal life, creating a visual, visceral contrast with Joe Biden and other Democrats who are more reticent to rip the masks off.

The state of play: Business friends have been urging Trump from the beginning to keep the lockdowns short. He's listening more and more.