A COVID-19 modeling update from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences reports “significant growth in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths” in recent weeks, but also includes estimates of reduced long-term impacts from the virus.
Tuesday’s (Oct. 13) UAMS update followed a report from the Arkansas Department of Health showing 680 new known COVID cases – those confirmed by PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests and antigen tests – with the cumulative tally reaching 94,167. Total deaths, including confirmed and probable, rose by 25 to 1,611.
Short-term projections suggest there will by Oct. 19 be 94,681 confirmed cumulative cases and 1,674 deaths. As of Oct. 13, there were 89,351 cumulative cases and 1,463 deaths.
The good news in the report is that the long-term mean-case projections were pushed from Feb. 22 to March 5. All key metrics were reduced in the long-term estimates. Following are the two long-term case updates.
• Mean-case estimates
March 5 (previously Feb. 22)
Active cases: 52,087 (previously 58,384)
Hospitalizations: 1,250 (previously 1,401)
ICU beds: 437 (previously 490)
Ventilators: 152 (previously 171)
• Worst-case estimates
Feb. 22 (previously Feb. 10)
Active cases: 80,753 (previously 88,408)
Hospitalizations: 1,938 (previously 2,121)
ICU beds: 678 (previously 742)
Ventilators: 237 (previously 259)
“The number of cases at the peak of the pandemic has changed significantly from the previous three projections, and the projected peaks have moved further out in time. What this suggests is, since the number of people susceptible to infection remains the same, COVID-19 is spreading more slowly through the the pool of susceptible Arkansans,” noted the report.
The report also offered the following notes on the reduced estimates.
• The most apparent difference from previous long-term models is that the peak of the pandemic is projected for early March, with fewer active infections at the time of the peak. This change in the projection may be due to a slowing of the current growth curve.
• Within the model, the rate at which cases, or infections, have been growing has been slowly decreasing in recent weeks.
• In the last week, the number of diagnosed cases has been erratic, with some high and some low days. While this type of erratic change would be apparent in the 15-day model, long-term models are less likely to react.
Link here for the updated UAMS modeling report.
COVID REPORT – Oct. 13
New known COVID-19 cases, active cases, tests
• 89,351 known cumulative cases, with 470 new community cases and 11 cases in correctional facilities
• 4,816 “probable” cases, up from 4,617 on Monday
• There are 6,744 active cases, down from 6,929 on Monday
• There were 5,909 test results provided in the previous 24 hours.
• There were 1,477 antigen tests in the previous 24 hours with 237 positives.
• 1,463, up 25
• 148 “probable” COVID-related deaths, unchanged
605, down 3
110, up 6
The top five counties with new known cases reported Tuesday were: Pulaski (56), Benton (44), Craighead (32), Lonoke (24), and Garland (22). The counties accounted for 37.9% of the 470 new community cases.
As of Tuesday at 1 p.m., there were 7,825,329 U.S. cases and 215,439 deaths. Globally, there were 37,965,809 cases and 1,083,040 deaths.