People line up outside a Covid-19 testing site in New York City, New York, on November 11th. Kena Betancur / AFP / Getty Images

Conditions on the West Coast, Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states could worsen in the next few weeks as the coronavirus pandemic accelerates in the US, according to a new forecast from the Philadelphia Children’s Hospital’s Policy Lab (CHOP).

The CHOP Policy Lab will begin to publish weekly results of its COVID-Lab forecasts at the county level on the pandemic, the laboratory said on its website on Wednesday. It found that hospital stays, ICUs, and ventilators are now increasing in all 50 states.

Growing cases: The model predicts “significant growth” in cases of Covid-19 over the next four weeks in the northeast and south in the central and Atlantic region, “where dire trends have now emerged in the Midwest,” the lab said. The forecast found that mitigation efforts in and around New York City and Boston “slowed but not decreased” increases in hospital stays and ICUs in cities.

The forecast of the CHOP Policy Lab also predicts “significant case growth” along the west coast in major cities in California as well as in Portland and Seattle by mid-December.

Fast-filling intensive care beds: “In every state in the Midwest, COVID-19 patients occupy more than 25% of intensive care beds,” the lab reported.

In four states – Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, and South Dakota – coronavirus patients filled 50% or more of all available ICU beds. “We suspect that the intensive care units in many places in these states are close, full or overloaded,” says the forecast.

The forecast also noted that Wisconsin, one of the earliest states to see explosive growth in Covid-19 cases this fall, may see a peak in transmissions, hospital admissions, and admission to the hospital However, the intensive care unit has not yet stabilized.

At least half of the 819 counties in the lab’s forecast have a test positivity rate of 9%, a measure of how often positive coronavirus cases are compared to the number of tests performed.


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