Children’s Hope Alliance Family.
Now just two days into North Carolina’s stay-at-home order, it seems as if things are beginning to settle into a new routine for all of us. There are still day-to-day changes, but the workflow and adjustment for many as they monitor symptoms, work from home, or strive to support families in the community, is becoming more settled. And we thank each of you for your flexibility as we navigate these times together.
At this point, we still have no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at any of our campuses or with any of our staff members, but we are continuing to wait for the test results of one staff member and King and Nelson Cottages on the Barium Springs campus remained quarantined.
However, as we face the upcoming peak number of infections in the coming week(s), it is IMPERATIVE that each of us stay at home when possible and take these precautionary steps:
- WASH YOUR HANDS OFTEN! This is still the most effective way to prevent transmission of COVID-19.
- Monitor Yourself. Taking precautions like self-monitoring symptoms (i.e., fever, cough, shortness of breath) can prevent transmission.
- Do not leave your home if you are ill.
- Wear a face mask if you are caring for someone who is ill.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces daily.
- Report any symptoms of illness to your Executive Leadership Team member, who will communicate with Celeste and Dr. Mullis for monitoring.
A more in-depth read: Why ‘stay-at-home’ orders work and what’s coming
Based on available information as of last week, stay-at-home orders definitely helped in Wuhan, China. At the start of their epidemic, data indicated that 25 to 70% of the population would become infected. They enforced strict social distancing protocols on 1/23/20. By 3/15/20, when the number of new infections reached < 1 per day, and only 0.5% of the Wuhan population had a confirmed case.
A study published 3/25/20 by the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (U of Washington) addressed the predicted impact of ‘stay-at-home’ orders in the US. The study provides estimates of hospital utilization and deaths for the next 4 months for each state in the US. They based their estimates on assumptions that all of the US would enact social distancing measures (‘stay-at-home’) in the next week.
Without ‘stay-at-home’ orders, COVID-19 would be expected to infect 25 to 70% of the US population. With a death rate somewhere between 0.6% to 3%, millions of deaths could be expected.
If nationwide ‘stay-at-home’ orders are enacted, the predicted death toll falls to around 75,000 (range 25k to 150k). However, on 3/30/20, this estimate was updated to predict 84,000 deaths based on the fact that not all states have enacted ‘stay-at-home’ orders. The estimate will likely rise weekly if some states continue to not enact ‘stay-at-home’ orders.
For North Carolina, with a 2019 population of 10,488, 084: without ‘stay-at-home’ orders, we could expect 2.6m to 7.8m infections with around 14,000 (best case scenario of 25% population infected, 0.5% death rate) to 157,000 deaths (worst-case scenario of 75% population infected, 2% death rate).
With ‘stay-at-home’ orders in place, North Carolina is expected to see peak COVID-19 hospital bed usage around April 20. Based on other data sources, NC should start to see an uptick in cases around April 6. The worst of the epidemic (daily death rate <0.3 per million) is expected to be over between May 29 and June 12.
Let’s all remain diligent about washing hands, social distancing, and staying at home when possible, and that curve will flatten!