The number of confirmed cases of Evanston residents having COVID-19 grew to 124 as of 3 p.m. today, April 6, according to information provided by the City of Evanston. This is an increase of 10 cases since yesterday, April 5. The number of cases has increased by 53 cases since last Monday. The trend in shown in the accompanying chart.

For Chicago, the COVID-19 cases grew from 4,614 yesterday to 5,067 cases today; the cases in Cook County grew from 8,024, to 8,728, and the cases in Illinois grew from 11,256 to 12,262.  A total of 62,942 people in Illinois have been tested for COVID-19. The trend is shown in the second chart in the chart box.

On April 5, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) updated its study, “Forecasting COVID-19 impact on hospital bed-days, ICU-days, ventilator days and deaths by US state in the next 4 months.” The study was discussed in a March 31 article posted on the RoundTable’s site. The study, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the State of Washington, estimates hospital utilization rates and deaths due to COVID-19 for each day in the next four months for each state in the nation.

The April 5 update predicts that the number of hospital beds needed in Illinois to address the COVID-19 pandemic will peak on April 16, with a total of 9,255 beds needed. The study says there are 14,552 beds available, so State has enough beds to address that need.

IHME, however, acknowledges that there is a wide range for potential error in its projections, and it gives a range of beds needed on April 16, with the low-end of the range at 3,679 beds and the high-end at 23,018 beds. If the actual need turns out to be at the high end, there may be a significant shortage of beds. The third chart in the chart box illustrates the range of projections.

IHME predicts that the number of Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds needed in Illinois will peak at 1,853 on April 16; and it states that a total of 1,131 ICU beds are available. The study thus projects a shortage of 722 ICU beds at the peak need. The study also provides a range of ICU beds needed on April 16, with the low end at 821 beds and the high end at 4,553 beds. The fourth chart in the box illustrates the range of projections for ICU beds.

The study projects that the deaths per day due to COVID-19 in Illinois will peak at 208 on April 12 and that the number of deaths will remain more than 190 per day through April 20, and then begin to drop until the number is zero on May 1. IHME then forecasts that the number of deaths will remain zero through Aug. 1. The projections assume that “full social distancing” will be in place through May.

The study indicates the number of deaths on April 12 could be as low as 21 and as high as 956 deaths on that day.

The updated study predicts that a total of 3,629 people in Illinois will die due to COVID-19 through Aug. 4. This is about 400 more than its April 1 estimates.

The study does not discuss what will happen after Aug. 4, or whether a surge may occur if the restrictions in place are lifted.

The RoundTable discussed another study, called “COVID Act Now,” by Max Henderson and others, in an article posted yesterday. That article gives much bleaker predictions. See link to article below.

For additional articles that the RoundTable has published on COVID-19, click on the navigation bar “COVID-19.”

Larry Gavin was a co-founder of the Evanston RoundTable in 1998 and assisted in its conversion to a non-profit in 2021. He has received many journalism awards for his articles on education, housing and...