A total of 40,000 positive infections by SARS-CoV-2 by July 28 is the latest prediction of epidemiologists at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences’ Fay Boozman College of Public Health. Today’s infection total stands at 34,655.
The College of Public Health has been reporting the results of its short-term and long-term modeling to the public for several weeks now. Today’s report includes a video introduction by UAMS Chancellor Dr. Cam Patterson, in which he expresses his appreciation for the life-saving mask mandate issued by Governor Hutchinson and his hope that its benefit in flattening the curve will be seen in the data soon. Also in the video, Dr. Ben Amick, associate dean for research in the College of Public Health, summarizes the modeling, noting how closely true case rates are tracking the curve of predicted infections in the short-term model.
Amick also says the long-term predictions put the number of active cases, if all things remain the same, between 50,000 and 170,000 by the peak in late November. The mean-case estimates project 2,591 COVID-19 hospitalizations, 777 of them in ICU, 543 on ventilators. The worst-case shows 4,214 in the hospital, with 1,265 of those in ICU, but fortunately, the worst-case scenario has only a 5 percent chance of being accurate.
The data gathered by the College of Public Health also indicates that African Americans and Latinx populations are being impacted to a greater degree than whites: Latinx Arkansans, for example, have almost three times the number of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 than African-American Arkansans, and six times the number per 100,000 than white Arkansans.
Amick also says that data suggest that while urban Arkansans are more likely to become infected than rural residents, the recent number of cases suggests that will change.