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Tallahassee Memorial Hospital Projection Shows Likely June COVID-19 Peak In North Florida

Visualization of the Coronavirus
Fusion Medical Animation

COVID-19 cases in Leon County and the surrounding areas aren’t expected to peak until June. The area lags the state when it comes to complying with social distancing directives and that could cause the virus to hang around longer. 

“New York can come out sooner than other places, we could come out later than Miami, it really depends on what percentage of the population gets this, how long they hold their peak for each region, and what state governments and county and local officials decide to do about it," TMH's Logan Van Wagenen said on a conference call with reporters Thursday. 

The projected peak of coronavirus cases in North Florida is later than other models , specifically the University of Washington's, have shown for the rest of the state. Tallahassee Memorial says it is prepared for the surge and has plans for deciding who needs hospitalization, and how to expend its resources, such as personal protective equipment, masks and ventilators.

The hospital’s most likely scenario reveals the region could run out of hospital beds by around two weeks before cases peak. TMH has the ability to set up an intensive-care level field hospital. The organization is relying on the University of Pennsylvania's modeling system, which focuses on hospital capacity to treat patients during the epidemic.

According to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, which uses the University of Washington model, COVID-19 cases in Florida are expected to peak near the end of the month.

Children have been shown to be fairly resilient to COVID-19. However a 9-year old girl in Leon County has tested positive for the virus. She recently traveled to the United Kingdom. She is now the youngest person in Leon county to have the virus. As of this Wednesday afternoon there are 74 cases of COVID-19 in the area. Only a few have required a person to be hospitalized. 

WFSU Public Media's Robbie Gaffney contribued to this report. 

Follow @HatterLynn

Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas.  She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. 

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