Latest modeling suggests Florida has passed coronavirus peak
The latest model from a group affiliated with the University of Washington predicts Florida is past the peak of the COVID-19 outbreak.

On April 2, 77 Floridians died, looking like the peak of the outbreak.

Florida has passed the projected peak in daily fatalities and hospitalizations from the novel coronavirus, according to one influential model.

The model, by The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, suggests the state passed the peak in new deaths on April 2, when 77 people died, and that the final death toll will be 1,363 after an update Saturday. On Monday, the model’s prior update guessed 4,748 Floridians would die by the end of the outbreak with 128 Floridians dying per day at a peak on May 6.

Florida also passed the peak need for hospital resources on Tuesday, when it believed the state needed 1,535 hospital beds. The state has been prepared with 20,184 beds.

On Tuesday and on Thursday, 72 people died and it’s possible 185 people could still die based on the most grim outlook. But the most likely scenario suggests fewer than 43 people will die per day between now and the end of May, when the model expects new fatal cases to disappear.

Surgeon General Scott Rivkees told reporters the state was “essentially at a plateau” in the curve of daily new cases on Monday.

The White House has referenced the model, made in association with the University of Washington School of Medicine. After this and other models showed the number of coronavirus cases continuing to rise, President Donald Trump changed his tune on extending the initial advisory for Americans to stay home.

Since April 3, when the Department of Health (DOH) confirmed 1,304, the number of new cases has been in decline. Apart from Thursday, when 1,227 tested positive but the department received the test results of a record 17,251 individuals, the number of new cases appeared to steady below 1,200 daily new cases.

As of Saturday morning, 25,269 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in the state and 740 Floridians have died. DOH confirmed 14 fatalities since Friday evening, though officials will release a second report Saturday evening.

Additionally, 3,649 Floridians have been hospitalized during the course of the pandemic. Although the peak need is likely in the past, the state could still need up to 5,229 hospital beds.

New York and California have also passed their likely peaks in daily deaths, likely 837 and 96 respectively. However, those states reached that hopeful peak on Thursday.

A task force on reopening Florida, assembled by Gov. Ron DeSantis, met for the first time Friday. And the day before, Trump released the White House’s guidelines or “Opening Up America Again.”

Lawmakers and business leaders have called for a data-driven approach to reopening the economy, and health officials, including Rivkees, have cautioned social distancing and other precautions could be the new normal until a vaccine is developed, possibly months or years down the line.

Renzo Downey

Renzo Downey covers state government for Florida Politics. After graduating from Northwestern University in 2019, Renzo began his reporting career in the Lone Star State, covering state government for the Austin American-Statesman. Shoot Renzo an email at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @RenzoDowney.


  • Michael O'Rourke

    April 18, 2020 at 5:15 pm

    Why doesn’t anyone want to discuss this? Am I wrong or did you say this model reflects:

    1) that we have reached the peak
    2) that the peak number of daily deaths is 77 on 4/2, not 126 project for 5/6.
    3) that the total deaths would be around 1,363, not 4,748.
    4) that the total hospital beds needed is 1,535, not 20,184.

    All along it seems the lack of a reliable instant testing kit skewed the data on what was really happening. Now our economy is a disaster.

    • Doo doo Brown

      April 19, 2020 at 8:29 am

      Or social distancing works.

  • Sonja Fitch

    April 18, 2020 at 5:34 pm

    Tests!!!! Masks.

  • Mk

    April 19, 2020 at 12:00 am

    Peak hasn’t happened yet

    • EA

      April 19, 2020 at 6:41 am

      did you read the article ? did you look at the updated IMHE model??

  • Darrin Miller

    April 19, 2020 at 9:54 pm

    This model assumes that we continue social distancing. But we are not doing that. We are letting people go the beach. So no the model is off.

  • Kim

    April 20, 2020 at 3:54 am

    This article is written so poorly that it is confusing.

    • M. J

      April 20, 2020 at 4:47 am

      ⁸only a irresponsible person can write this way

    • Just sayin'

      April 20, 2020 at 10:49 am

      …she said after she paid absolutely nothing to read what someone spent hours creating.

      You want perfect journalism? Pay for it.

  • All Ears

    April 20, 2020 at 8:27 am

    I would really like to hear a solution from the Left that doesn’t boil down to “huddle in your house alone for the foreseeable future. We’ll develop a vaccine in a year or two. Sorry about the poverty, social isolation, and skyrocketing suicides, but something something something ORANGE MAN BAD!!!”

    I’m only half-trolling. I don’t think we can go back to normal. But there’s no real plans coming from the Left, only criticism.

    • Donna Howell

      April 20, 2020 at 10:20 am

      The truth is the left is trying every way they can to block treatments that are already proven to work. They NEED this to continue until they can have “mail in” voting. THAT is their goal. Same reason they are blocking help for small business. If we go back to work, what would stop us from going to the voting booth???

      • Ian

        April 20, 2020 at 4:36 pm

        Wow, you really are delusional aren’t you

    • Michael VanDeMar

      April 21, 2020 at 8:06 pm

      “I would really like to hear a solution from the Left”

      The solution is the same as it has been all along. The only way to relax the current stay at home measures safely is with widespread testing and contact tracing. That way only the people who are infected need to isolate. Without knowing who those are then yeah, it has to be everyone. This isn’t a secret, the “left” (and, you know, the actual medical professionals) have been saying this the whole time.

  • James

    April 20, 2020 at 8:30 am

    Excellent article! Keep up the great work Renzo. The virus has a70 day life term and is coming to an end finally.

  • Peter

    April 21, 2020 at 11:53 am

    How accurate have these models been so far?

Comments are closed.


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