Dr. Gerald updated his modeling analysis today with some concerning (but not surprising) results, given the run-up in all of the dashboard indicators in the last 10 days.. One such conclusion in today’s report is that “… current trends in hospitalizations suggest excess capacity could be depleted by July.”

Hopefully executive branch officials will carefully read the report and implement interventions while there’s still time (see previous blog post). Below are some excerpts from today’s analysis.

Increasing hospital utilization strongly suggests that increasing case counts are attributable to increases in community transmission. If current trends are sustained, excess capacity could be exhausted by July. Banner Health recently reported some of its Maricopa ICUs were already at or near capacity. Because interventions take weeks to take effect, immediate action is needed to avoid exceeding our hospitals’ capacity to provide care.

It is worth revisiting the work of the Arizona State University Covid-19 modeling group (see their preprint). Using an SEIR epidemiological model, they examined various scenarios of physical distancing policies including a comparison of a May 15 (early) versus June 1 (late) re-opening (Figure 10). Dividing their daily estimate of new cases by 4X to derive PCR confirmed cases, they estimated that by the time of this update Arizona would see roughly 1500 confirmed cases per day versus about 7500 per day with early reopening which is roughly tracking current conditions. More worrisome is the future trajectory showing even faster growth without action.

Covid-related hospital utilization continues to increase with excess capacity declining from approximately 30% to <15% over the past two months. While adequate capacity exists, current trends in hospitalizations suggest excess capacity could be depleted by July.