Coronavirus National Guard

A member of the New Hampshire National Guard wheels a cart of medical supplies into the Stan Spriou Fieldhouse at SNHU in Manchester on Monday.

Eleven people in New Hampshire likely will die from COVID-19 on April 21, the peak day for such deaths in the state, according to projections released this week by a university-affiliated research center.

On that day, less than three weeks away, the state will be short 81 intensive care beds, according to the projections by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, an independent global health research center at the University of Washington. It also said that 131 invasive ventilators will be needed.

On Tuesday, the state Department of Health and Human Services reported 53 new cases, bringing the state’s total to 367. There were no new deaths.

In the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation’s report, director Christopher J.L. Murray wrote, “In addition to a large number of deaths from COVID-19, the epidemic in the U.S. will place a load well beyond the current capacity of hospitals to manage, especially for (intensive care unit) care.”

By early August, 337 New Hampshire residents will have died from the pandemic, the institute predicts.

The projected toll takes into account the trajectory of COVID-19 cases and the capacity of hospitals to handle a surge in patients.

New Hampshire officials have resisted giving hard numbers. For example, last week, Health and Human Services Department spokesman Jake Leon said state officials expect to need an additional 1,700 to 1,900 beds.

But he did not estimate how many people will have the disease or die from it. He said then that it was too early to know what the ultimate need will be.

New Hampshire had only three deaths as of Tuesday, according to state officials. Vermont, which has reported slightly fewer cases of COVID-19 than New Hampshire, had 13 deaths.

Meanwhile, the New Hampshire National Guard announced on Monday that it has activated 45 guardsmen and will have nine medical surge facilities in place around the state by the end of this week.

The facilities — in Manchester, Durham, Keene, Concord, Plymouth, Littleton, Lebanon and two in Nashua — will provide up to 1,600 beds for patients infected with COVID-19.

The Guard also is working with hotels and others in the hospitality industry to identify lodging for first responders, health care workers and people displaced by the crisis, it said.

The institute’s projections, broken down by state, estimates there will be 83,967 COVID-19-related deaths nationwide by Aug. 4.

That is lower than the White House task force’s most recent projection of 100,000 to 240,000 total deaths nationwide, though the task force specifies no time frame.

Like the institute, the task force’s projection is based on expectations that social distancing and other preventive measures will be maintained and be successful.

On its website, the institute said it used data on confirmed COVID-19 deaths from World Health Organization websites and local and national governments.

It forecast deaths and hospital use based on COVID-19 data from select locations.

Friday, August 07, 2020