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Kentucky could have 13,000 deaths with poor social distancing, new projection says

Covid Act Now projects around 13,000 people in Kentucky and 30,000 people in Indiana could die if Stay at Home orders are not strictly followed.

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear cited new projections when discussing potential deaths and hospitalizations in the state during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The models, created by Covid Act Now, show more deaths and hospitalizations than projections created by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington.

IMHE projected Kentucky will have 815 total deaths by August 4 based on executive orders in place. Covid Act Now takes it a step further by projecting deaths and hospitalizations based on how the state complies with the Stay at Home or "Healthy at Home" order from Gov. Beshear.

Covid Act Now projects that if people comply poorly during three months of "Healthy at Home," there could be around 13,000 deaths in the state. The projections also show hospitals could be overloaded by June 4.

"That is a result none of us want," Beshear said. "It's saying that just having the rules and regulations in place don't do a lot unless we internalize it and we follow it."

Credit: Covid Act Now
Projections for limited action, poor compliance with a Stay at Home order, and strict compliance with a State at Home order in Kentucky.

If there is strict compliance, meaning everyone does their best to follow the "Healthy at Home" order, Covid Act Now projects there will be no hospital overload and around 2,000 deaths—11,000 less than if people do not comply.

"This isn't with us passing any more restrictions," Beshear said. "Just us doing our duty could mean the difference between 11,000 or even 45,000 [deaths]."

Credit: Covid Act Now
Projections for Kentucky.

Covid Act Now takes projections even further, by showing models for each county. At this time, the model shows Jefferson County could have 3,000 deaths with poor compliance, compared to less than 1,000 with strict compliance.

Indiana could see even more deaths with poor compliance. Covid Act Now's projections show the state hitting around 30,000 deaths if people do not strictly follow Stay at Home orders. Hospitals could be overloaded as early as May 18.

Credit: Covid Act Now
Projections for limited action, poor compliance with a Stay at Home order, and strict compliance with a State at Home order in Indiana.

If there is strict compliance, Indiana is projected at around 7,000 deaths and there will be no overloaded hospitals.

IMHE had projected Indiana's total deaths at 1,083 by August 4.

Credit: Covid Act Now
Projections for Indiana.

The models are updated every day, and Covid Act Now said they are intended to help make decisions. The group behind Covid Act Now includes data scientists, software engineers and public health experts.

To see Covid Act Now's projections, click here. You can also see IMHE's projections, as well as when Kentucky and Indiana are expected to hit their peaks here.

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