BANGOR – Data projections about coronavirus deaths show a surge is coming and a local doctor is stressing the best way to protect yourself and others is to stay home.
The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation has created COVID-19 death projections for each state and they show a troubling picture for Vacationland.
“The IHME model … shows a peak activity of this first wave of COVID in mid-April and then a few weeks of a very significant tail to that,” said Dr. Noah Nesin, Penobscot Community Health Care medical director. “It’s not like it goes away in mid-April. There is still going to be a lot of work, a lot of sick people.”
The IHME data for Maine shows a projected six-day peak in coronavirus deaths to start around April 15. It predicts seven to 18 deaths a day or an average of 12 during that peak period. Then a slow decline.
The IHME projection is 364 Mainers will die before August after catching the airborne virus passed from person to person.
“Which really emphasizes the importance of really strict social distancing to try and reduce that,” Nesin said.
He said, if folks abide by the governor’s strict stay at home order it will help to stop the spread of the disease.
The statistical model also says Maine hospitals will be hit hard.
“It does indicate that the need for hospital beds will be higher than the number of hospital beds available in Maine,” Nesin said. “The surge will be more than hospitals can handle at the peak.”
The IHME data states there are currently 1,061 hospital beds and 64 intensive care unit beds available across the state.
Healthcare professionals in Bangor are preparing for the worse.
“There is a lot of active planning going on,” Nesin said. “For a surge among the hospitals, agencies like PCHC, Penquis, the city of Bangor and all of the agencies and organizations who would be stakeholders in a circumstance like that are involved in the planning to be able to handle the surge should it occur.”