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How bad will Coronavirus get in Delaware? This model helps leaders make fast decisions, not predict the future

If we could predict the impact of Coronavirus in Delaware, what would we do? Many speculate around the country that their governors are not acting fast enough, partly because of what they hear in the media from President Donald Trumps press briefings criticizing those state Governors of not doing enough.

I disagree. Governor John Carney on Monday issued his fourth and fifth modification to his emergency declaration, declaring a public health emergency. Previously, Carney closed all Delaware schools not once, but twice and planned the meal logistics and organized remote online education and resources for students. There have also been several previous state of emergency declarations, including the latest declaration which was a “Stay at home” order, and the closure of all non essential businesses to help curb the spread of the Coronavirus.

“We need everyone to take this situation seriously. We saw too many people on the beaches yesterday and we weren’t seeing the kind of social distancing that we need in order to slow the spread of coronavirus,” said Governor Carney. “This was a difficult decision, but we need folks to follow the rules to keep all Delawareans safe. Don’t go out in public unnecessarily. Wash your hands and disinfect surfaces frequently. Stay home, especially if you feel sick and even if you have mild symptoms. We will get through this together.”

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“We know this is a startling increase for Delawareans to see,” said DHSS Secretary Dr. Kara Odom Walker, a practicing family physician. ” It is an indication of spread that we expected to see, but it is also reflective of the state’s increased testing capacity which is leading to more results – both positive and negative. It also shows us why we need Delawareans to stay home and stay safe. We all must end unnecessary contact with others, practice stringent social distancing, go out for essential groceries or prescriptions only as needed, and go to work only if we are in an essential business. We will get through this, but we must do it together.”

“There have been 87 total laboratory-confirmed cases in the state since March 11. This includes 31 additional cases since yesterday. Seven individuals are currently hospitalized; three are critically ill. The source of exposure for many of these positive cases is unknown, which indicates community spread of the virus is occurring in the state.”, Walker said.

Meanwhile, as the number of positive cases increase around the nation and more testing is more readily available, the United States racks up more than 32,000 positive cases with at least 400 deaths as a result of those being infected with the Coronavirus since January 15, 2020.

The problem is not the various governors’ reaction to this virus but a number of issues that is preventing proper testing and care for their patients. One of the biggest issues is that healthcare providers don’t have enough equipment and supplies to meet the growing number of positive cases. In an NBC News survey of 250 health care workers, more and more are becoming fearful for the first time in the careers, as healthcare workers around the country run out of critical medical supplies and personal protective equipment to not only treat patients, but also protect themselves.

‘This system is doomed’:Doctors, nurses sound off in NBC News coronavirus survey where more than 250 health care workers responded to a social media survey seeking first-person accounts from those on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic.

The survey was pushed out on social media about access to personal protective equipment (PPE), a broad term for the gear, such as masks, glasses, gowns and respirators, donned by health care workers to protect against the transmission of germs.

According to NBC News, “Nearly all who responded said there were shortages of PPE in the hospitals, outpatient clinics and offices where they worked. Many reported being forced to ration or reuse supplies, including surgical and N95 masks, for fear of running out. Many also said they were facing shortages of basic sanitary supplies, including hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes.”

So before Delaware gets to this point, if we could predict the impact of Coronavirus in Delaware, what would we do? CovidActNow.org was created by a team of data scientists, engineers, and designers in partnership with epidemiologists, public health officials, and political leaders to help understand how the COVID-19 pandemic will affect their region. It was built to enable political leaders to quickly make decisions in their Coronavirus response informed by best available data and modeling.

CovidActNow.org built this tool to answer critically important questions such as:

  • What will the impact be in my region be and when can I expect it?
  • How long until my hospital system is under severe pressure?
  • What is my menu of interventions, and how will they address the spread of Coronavirus?

Visit covidactnow.org/state/de

The model predicts that with three months of shelter in place, we won’t overwhelm our hospitals. It also predicts that with shelter in place, we’ll have less than 1% infected and less than an estimated 1,000 deaths in Delaware.
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