COVID-19 cases to fall 46% by March 12: 3 forecasts to know

The U.S. will continue to see steep declines in COVID-19 cases, deaths and hospitalizations through mid-March, according to forecasts from the CDC and Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic. 

Three forecasts to know: 

Cases: The nation's average daily COVID-19 case rate is expected to fall 46 percent over the next two weeks, according to predictive modeling from Mayo Clinic. This figure sat at 21.1 cases per 100,000 people as of Feb. 26, down from 34.6 per 100,000 on Feb. 19. Mayo Clinic's forecasting suggests that this rate will fall to 11.4 per 100,000 by March 12. 

Hospitalizations: Daily COVID-19 hospital admissions are projected to fall nationwide over the next four weeks, with 400 to 6,600 new admissions likely reported March 18, according to the CDC's ensemble forecast from 14 modeling groups. The projection, published Feb. 21, is down from the 900 to 11,600 new admissions projected by March 11.

The seven-day hospitalization average for Feb. 16-22 was 6,060, a 29.9 percent decrease from the previous week's average. 

Deaths: U.S. COVID-19 deaths will decrease over the next month, according to the CDC's ensemble forecast from 24 modeling groups. The forecast projects 5,400 to 12,800 deaths likely reported in the week ending March 19, which would bring the nation's total COVID-19 death tally to a range of 963,000 to 983,000 deaths. Similar to hospitalizations, the projection marks a decrease from the 6,300 to 13,200 new deaths projected in the week ending March 12.

The CDC said its ensemble forecasts are among the most reliable for COVID-19 modeling, but they cannot predict rapid changes in cases, hospitalizations or deaths. Therefore, they should not be relied on "for making decisions about the possibility or timing of rapid changes in trends," the agency said.

Note: Mayo Clinic uses a Bayesian statistical model to forecast cases that automatically updates as new data becomes available. There is an uncertainty interval for forecast values, with lower and upper bounds that are not included in this list. To learn more about the data Mayo Clinic uses to forecast hot spots, click here. Becker's pulled the forecast values Feb. 28 at 8:40 a.m. CST.


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