- The coronavirus has already peaked in some US states, such as New York.
- The outbreak is still building in other states, meaning they haven’t seen the worst of the pandemic, according to researchers at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.
- Iowa’s and Wyoming’s outbreaks are projected to peak on May 5.
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Some states are already facing the brunt of the coronavirus pandemic, while others are waiting for a surge in the coming weeks, according to projections from researchers.
Depending on which model you’re looking at, the US’s coronavirus peak could have already passed or may be coming in the near future. This date can also change depending on if you’re measuring when hospitals are expected to be the most overwhelmed or when deaths will peak.
Models also account for things like how well people adhere to social-distancing guidelines and stay-at-home orders, which create wide ranges in timing.
The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), for example, assumes high levels of social distancing in its model and says that the country’s peak happened last weekend. Penn Medicine’s CHIME Model, on the other hand, which incorporates lower compliance, predicted the apex could come as late as June.
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But there are several peaks that are set to happen in the US, and they vary from state to state.
Places likeWashington,New York, andNew Jersey— which have been hit hard by the coronavirus — already experienced their peaks, according to IHME. States that haven’t seen as many cases yet, like Iowa and Wyoming, may see surges happen as late as early May, more than a month later than the earliest spots hit.
The risk of a ‘2nd wave’ of COVID-19 in the US
Analysts at Morgan Stanley said in early April that coastal cities like New York were likely to experience their peaks earlier than the rest of the country, about mid-April, and that other parts of the US would likely peak in the weeks following.
A big risk that could follow these different sets of peaks, the organization said in a report, is “a second wave of infections emanating from the central region of the country after the coasts have peaked in mid-April.”
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In other words, coastal cities may experience another wave of coronavirus infections after their first one. The IHME model looks at the initial outbreak only.
States hitting their peaks early
The states that have already experienced their peaks, either in terms of the highest number of deaths in a day or the day that hospital resources are stretched the most, includeMichigan,Washington, andLouisiana, which have seen relatively high numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases early on within their borders.
Coloradoon March 28 was the first state to see its hospital resources stretched the thinnest in the country amid the coronavirus pandemic, whileVermontandMontanawere some of the earliest states to experience their peaks for coronavirus-related deaths, on March 23 and March 30, respectively, according to data from IHME.
Business Insider determined the peak in deaths by looking at which day would have the highest average projected number of deaths in the IHME model. In the case that several days had the same number of deaths, the middle day was chosen.
Both Vermont and Montana established stay-at-home orders just a few days after such directives were adopted inNew YorkandNew Jersey, which have remained the two biggest hot spots of the coronavirus pandemic in the country.
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About 50% of states are hitting their peaks for hospital resources between mid-April and May 1, projections show
About half of states are expected to face the most strenuous time for hospital resources, which include personal protective equipment and ventilators, between April 16 and May 1.
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Though 19 states are thought to have already faced their most difficult day in terms of hospital resources, others likeMassachusetts,New Mexico, and Alabamamay face this period almost a month later than others.
A handful of states are expected to hit their peaks after May 2
There are 12 states that have yet to enact stay-at-home orders as of April 14. Of the 12 that have yet to do so, three (Nebraska,Iowa, andWyoming) are expected to hit their peaks, both in deaths related to the coronavirus and in hospital resources, on or after May 2.
Most states that fall into this category have seen fewer cases compared with other parts of the country. However, others — likeFloridaandGeorgia— have some of the most confirmed coronavirus cases in the country, ranked 8th and 11th place with over 22,500 and 15,000 cases, respectively, as of April 16.