DEVELOPING. A new model forecasts how long Alaska has until COVID-19 overwhelms the state's hospitals. The point of no-return for intervention to prevent hospital overload is between March 24 to March 29 according to the covidactnow.org website.

Representative Jonathan Kriess-Tomkins says a team of epidemiologists and Silicon Valley data scientists created the model when it was announced Friday afternoon. 

The forecasting model has been endorsed by Nirav Shah, MD, MPH, a Senior Scholar, Stanford University Clinical Excellence Research Center and a former New York State Department of Health Commissioner, Vincent Mor Florence Pirce Grant University Professor, Professor of Health Services, Policy and Practice at Brown University, and former Alaska Commissioner of Health and Social Services Valerie Nurr'araaluk Davidson.

According to the forecast, of the over 16,000 cases that are serious enough to require hospitalization, 15,000 Alaskans would be expected to die from the coronavirus in the next three months if no actions were taken, with hospitals being overloaded by April 7.

That number drops to 11,000 deaths with the delay Texas is experiencing. In both scenarios over 70% of the population would be infected.

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These scenarios are dramatically different when an immediate response of sheltering people in place is used like the California and Wuhan models. If those protocols were followed Alaska's hospitals would never be overwhelmed and deaths would be in the hundreds with less than 4% of the population catching the virus.

An expanded version of the model also considers a second spike in infections once social distancing is relaxed and also considers inoculations being developed for the virus.

Kriess-Tompkins says the model was scaled to all 50 states and shared with legislatures across the country.