Projections: Ohio COVID-19 peak will happen in mid-May; estimated 10,000 cases per day


COLUMBUS, Ohio — In Friday’s press conference, Ohio leaders offered a new look into what Ohio’s projected peak will look like for COVID-19 cases.

Gov. Mike DeWine said based on new data, the state’s projected peak has now shifted from May 1 to mid-May. According to Ohio Health Director Dr. Amy Acton, the projected number of COVID-19 cases at Ohio’s peak surge will be at 10,000 cases a day.

Acton said Thursday that the hope was to push the projected peak date back to prepare hospitals.

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“We’re now projecting that we have as many as 10,000 new cases a day and that is the number,” Acton said.

Just a day before, Acton said Ohio’s projected peak would be 6,000-8,000 cases a day.

Acton has often reiterated the shortage of testing available, saying officials can’t assume anything about what’s happening in a community at any given time because they can’t test for it.

As of Friday, ODH confirmed 1,137 cases of COVID-19 in the state. In the past, Acton said numbers confirmed on a daily basis by ODH are just the “tip of the iceberg.”

“At this point, we know that all Ohioans — you already see documented spread in at least 60 of our counties — and we know there’s more, as I said. Not everyone has been tested. Most people with this disease right now will not even get tested,” Acton said. “They will stay at home and weather that out. And in every county, people are ill and staying at home.”

While Acton and DeWine say it’s as important as ever to stay home, the big focus is to build out hospital capacity.

“Our hospital capacity is about a third of the blue curve. We're really ramping up our build-up of hospitals now,” DeWine said on Twitter.

In the graph often shared with the public in the press conferences, the blue curve shows Ohio’s projected peak of COVID-19 cases as officials step in to mitigate the spread. The yellow curve shows cases if officials had not stepped in.

Acton said these models will improve as more data comes in, but still encourages people to them as they are.

“It’s that compass, that tool that helps point us in this direction,” she said.

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