On Monday, April 6, 2020 RTI, Duke, and UNC were part of a legislative briefing and a press briefing on a joint effort regarding modeling COVID impact in NC.
Collectively the links below tell a great story in terms of academic/private sector/government collaboration in our state.
Associated Press (April 6): Experts: Distancing Rules Improve N. Carolina Hospital Odds
The researchers didn’t project death totals. If hospitals run out of beds and patients don’t get access to care, “we will have more deaths.”
News Observer (April 6; syndication in Fayetteville Observer): Social Distancing May Be Working: Researchers Cut Projected COVID-19 Death Toll in NC
North Carolina models are based on data and trends that are specific to the state, which could explain the differences. The timing of the coronavirus peak in North Carolina is less important than the intensity. Both the Washington and North Carolina models show the state should have enough hospital beds if social distancing remains in place.
Charlotte Observer (April 6): 76 New Coronavirus Cases, 1 New Death in Mecklenburg, Officials Say
The predictive model did not directly predict possible deaths in North Carolina, but a shortage in beds would likely lead to an increase in deaths. In terms of Mecklenburg County’s position as a hotspot in COVID-19 cases, COVID-19 cases tend to quickly increase.
Asheville Citizen-Times (April 6; syndication by BlueRidgeNow.com): When Will Coronavirus Peak in North Carolina? State Projection Differs from National Study
Some of the models are very specific to North Carolina in a way that’s different from models that you read about. The RTI model is based on very specific attributes about the North Carolina population. This is a granularized approach that’s quite different from other projections.
Community buy-in was just as important as the policies themselves. The more we can practice social distancing and get the population to adopt social distancing, the more lives can be saved.
Social distancing slows this outbreak down. And, the more we can slow this outbreak down in our communities, the less chance we will have of overwhelming our healthcare system.
The models, constructed by experts from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Duke University, RTI International, and others reinforced the need for limiting personal contact to slow the spread of COVID-19 and ensure that health care is there for people who need it.
Southern Pines Pilot (April 6): Researchers Say New Model Shows Impact of Social Distancing Policies
Even though this study does not forecast when the number of deaths might peak, when you run out of hospital beds … you will have more deaths. Let’s make sure people in North Carolina have access to hospital care they might need to avoid getting into the situation happening in Italy and places like New York City.
Progressive Pulse (April 6): Social Distancing Policies Might Need to Be Extended Past April to Ensure Hospital Bed Supply
To save lives we need to make sure we flatten the curve. The more social distancing, the more lives can be saved.
In terms of the peak, the timing is less important than the intensity. We need to make sure that peak doesn’t come fast and furious and really tall. What works to flatten the curve is social distancing.
Port City Daily (April 6): New COVID-19 Model: 750,000 possible NC Cases, Restrictions Might Be Needed for Two Months
The “weather forecasting” modeling was developed by epidemiologists and scientists at University of North Carolina, Duke University, Blue Cross and Blue Shield, NoviSci, and RTI International.