Projective models predict COVID-19 in San Antonio will peak in May

SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) – Using different assumptions, four projective models on the City of San Antonio’s website predict different peaks for COVID-19, but most point to May.

Assistant City Manager Dr. Colleen Bridger says the models adapt to reflect current conditions, much like hurricane tracking models.

“They provide a range of data estimates for officials to consider along with a host of other information to make informed decisions on how to continue slowing the spread of COVID-19. The models clearly show the effectiveness of social distancing measures,” said Bridger.

She notes that making it through the peak of the pandemic doesn’t mean it’s over.

“San Antonio will continue dealing with COVID-19 for months after the peak and we should continue to practice social distancing and good hygiene,” Bridger said.

Dr. Juan  Gutierrez, Chair of the University of Texas at San Antonio’s Mathematics Department, released models that show the potential impacts of COVID-19 in the following scenarios:

*   If no social distancing measures had been in place,
*   If the Stay Home Work Safe Orders are lifted completely,
*   If high levels of social distancing continue and
*   If the Stay Home Work Safe Orders are lifted but medium levels of social distancing continue.

The study predicts 3,600 cases of COVID-19 through July, with a projected peak by early May, if the City’s current social distancing measures remain in place. The model  shows that there would have been more than 900,000 cases, with an overwhelmed local hospital system if the social distancing measures had not been implemented.

“An early response prevented an explosion in the number of cases. Had the Mayor and County Judge not acted early, the crisis would have been significantly larger,” the report concluded.

A different study produced by the Nu.AI Lab at UTSA by researchers Dr. Dhirresha Kudithipudi and team predicts nearly 30,000 cases of COVID-19 in San Antonio with a projected peak in mid-May. The study assumes that the Stay Home Work Safe order remains in effect to include closures of schools, bars and restaurant dining areas.

“It is critical for Bexar County to reinforce social distancing measures for the next two months to reduce the impact on the public, hospitals and healthcare team.”

The Oliver Wyman COVID-19 pandemic navigator provides national analysis of the pandemic.  This study predicts a peak of 1,700 cases through May, with a peak in late April. The study incorporates virus suppression measures, such as social distancing.

Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington includes overall projections for the state of Texas with assumptions that full social distancing measures will continue through May of 2020. As of the study’s publication, Texas has implemented a stay at home order and closed educational facilities. Cities have implemented Stay Home Work Safe orders. The study predicts a peak of COVID-19 cases in late April.

The models will be updated as the COVID-19 crisis evolves locally.

More about: