The University of Washington Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (Dr. Christopher Murray, Director) has developed perhaps the most useful model for predicting the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the 50 US State, the District of Columbia, and US territories. I consider the IMHE model as the most useful (and valid) model available. I was both trained in such models of healthcare needs and outcomes and used them for 35 years until my retirement. I applaud their work and am very grateful they have made this significant scientific contribution. There is no doubt in my mind that IMHE’s work has saved thousands of lives.
In the past week (last week of April 2020) IMHE has made estimates of when each state can gradually start to reduce social distancing restrictions SLOWLY AND GRADUALLY. Their predictions assume that all states maintain severe social distancing restrictions until the stated start dates. And critically their predictions assume that there are adequate COVID-19 testing and tracking materials and human resources available.
Unfortunately, to this date, while the President and Vice President have asserted that such resources for testing and tracking exit now and in the past few months have existed, their assertions are unfortunately lies and there have not been enough testing materials and trackers at any time during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The IMHE estimates are superior, but their presentations on their server are definitely very difficult for those other than scientists to understand as they require manipulations of a large database.
Since I know what they are talking about but am confused and surprised by their data presentations, I made a chart from their own data and analyses to simplify and present their results a less technical way.
The big questions to US citizens in when they can start safely (for themselves and fellow citizens) gradually. Below is a mind map that is a cumulative set of estimates of when the US states can BEGIN to taper social distancing regulations GRADUALLY.
The IMHE Director has appeared on television in the last two days and said that they hope to have revised estimates by the weekend. I will revise the graphic when they release updated data.
Here is the overall calendar of when each state may start lifting social distancing restrictions and then monitoring results and determining whether restrictions must be restored.
The master calendar derived from the IMHE analyses, data, and conclusions. If states open before the suggested dates, the estimates will need to be moved later.
Click on the image to expand it.
George J. Huba, PhD