By BRIAN A. HOWEY

INDIANAPOLIS - While Indiana officials have been tight lipped on the number of intensive care unit beds and ventilators it has, a University of Washington state-by-state projections study of COVID-19 impacts says there are 706 ICU beds and the state will need 854 ventilators. By Aug. 4, it projects 2,400 Hoosiers will die, reaching a peak of 320 deaths per day by mid-April.

Indiana is projected to reach its peak of just over 30,000 cases around April 17. It says the state has 8,485 available beds, and will need 10,458, for a bed shortage of 1,973. It projects there are 706 Intensive Care Unit beds available, while the demand will be 1,582 beds, for an ICU bed shortage of 876 beds. It projects Indiana will need 854 invasive ventilators, though it does not specify how many ventilators the state has. 

Indiana Health Commissioner Kristina Box declined to say how many ICU beds and ventilators Indiana has during a press conference last week, citing "confidentiality" with state hospitals. She said she’s seeing “positive movements” in availability of ICU beds and ventilators. “Because everybody is stepping up to the plate and trying to pretty much double their ICU capacity, I’m seeing those numbers increase as we go along,” Box said. 

The University of Washington study projects Indiana will have 2,440 deaths by Aug. 4. It projects the state will have around 320 deaths per day around April 15. The University of Washington study used data on confirmed COVID-19 deaths by day from World Health Organization websites and local and national governments; data on hospital capacity and utilization for U.S. states; and observed COVID-19 utilization data from select locations to develop a statistical model forecasting deaths and hospital utilization against capacity by state for the US over the next 4 months.

A study by Harvard University pandemic-tracking researchers predicts that Fort Wayne-area hospitals will run out of beds if 40% of adults develop COVID-19 over 12 months, according to the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette. The researchers describe the projection as a “moderate” trajectory for the worldwide epidemic.

The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) announced Sunday morning that 290 additional Hoosiers have been diagnosed with COVID-19. That brings to 1,514 the total number of Indiana residents known to have the novel coronavirus following corrections to the previous day’s total. Thirty-two Hoosiers have died. To date, 9,830 tests have been reported to ISDH, up from 8,407 on Saturday. Marion County had the most new cases, at 119, while Lake County had 17, Johnson County had 15, Hendricks County had 12 and Hamilton County had 10. 

“I still think we are in a little bit of the calm before the storm,” Dr. Kris Box said late last week. Gov. Holcomb expects the infection numbers to continue to rise through mid-April. “We don’t see the peak yet,” he said.