TMH: projections show "concerning" potential for patient surge

Published: Apr. 9, 2020 at 3:57 PM EDT
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By: Jacob Murphey | WCTV Eyewitness News

April 9, 2020

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) – As some parts of the country show signs of improvement, leaders with Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare shared a projection that indicates the Big Bend may be dealing with COVID-19 for quite some time.

In a digital press conference Thursday, TMH Director of Lean Services Logan Van Wagenen shared a model produced by the University of Pennsylvania. It factored in a number of local parameters, including population size, bed capacity, and current social distancing measures.

According to Van Wagenen, both the "best case" and "most likely" scenarios produced a number of patients that exceeded bed capacity, with peaks arriving in late May or June.

The "best case" scenario includes a peak in daily admissions on June 16, with total bed capacity across all area hospitals exceeded by roughly 700 patients during the worst stretch.

The "most likely" scenario factors in less-successful social distancing measures. It shows a peak of daily admissions (362) on May 29, with bed capacity exceeded by roughly 1,600 patients during the peak stretch.

Van Wagenen warned that this was just one model's prediction, and said a number of factors could alter these projections. But TMH leaders continued to push for strict social distancing practices to produce the best outcome. As of Thursday, Leon County received a "B" grade for distancing according to one model used by TMH.