Emory Global Health Expert Says Peak Day For COVID-19 Deaths Could Be Easter Sunday
An infectious disease expert with Emory University says Easter Sunday could be the peak day for COVID-19 deaths in the United States.
Emory's Dr. Carlos Del Rio said the projected peak could be off by three or four days.
"It's a matter of waiting for a hurricane to hit you," he said, explaining he doesn't know whether the impact will be a Category 4 or a tropical storm.
Social distancing practices have curbed the spread of the coronavirus and this weekend could see more than 2,200 deaths, according to statistical data.
"One thing we're learning from all of the models, because of things like social distancing, is that they look better than initially suggested," Del Rio said.
Del Rio said access to testing is pivotal to continue fighting against the pandemic.
"We need better testing; we need better access to testing," he said.
He cautioned that different parts of the state could see different circumstances play out as the peak approaches.
"Atlanta sheltered in place a lot sooner than other cities," he said. "Each place is going to have different outbreaks."
Georgians may need to brace themselves for a "new normal," even as the pandemic begins to show signs of weakening. Del Rio said he expects people may be more eager to avoid events with large crowds like football games.
If there is a second or third wave of COVID-19, it could look very different if a vaccine is developed before it hits.
"If we get hit by a second or third wave, we'll be prepared," Del Rio said.
Del Rio was cautious in predicting what Georgia's peak day would look like.
"I think it will be sunny and 75 degrees. Seriously, I have no idea what it'll look like," he said. "I can't predict what it's going to look like."
He said in his conversations with doctors around the country, the best advice he's received continues to be encouraging the public to flatten the curve by practicing social distancing.