Arkansas has experienced a dramatic upsurge in COVID-19 cases in the last two weeks. The number of cases reported to the Arkansas Department of Health surpassed even, at the time, the seemingly high numbers forecast by our short-term models for the end of June reported by UAMS.
In a report published by UAMS titled ‘COVID-19 forecasting models‘ dated July 3 states the report prepared for June 19th, UAMS is confident in forecasting the number of COVID cases in Arkansas would reach 16,000 by the end of the month. In reality, the number of COVID cases on June 30th was over 20,000, doubling the number of COVID cases in just over three weeks.
“Given the current best-fit model, the short term forecast is for the state to reach about 35,000 cases by July 10th. The time-series short-term models, shown on page 20, provide a more conservative, but nonetheless disturbing forecast,” the report states. “The time-series predicts the number of COVID cases will reach 30,000 by July 12th. The time series model of COVID deaths forecasts 375, also by July 12th.”
Since UAMS’s last report on June 19, the mean estimate for total active infections at peak decreased by over 20%, with the predicting peak date pushed back to October 29. Similarly, the worst-case estimate at peak came down over 25%, peaking October 24.
For the first time since UAMS modeling began, its predictions for the number of beds, ICU beds, and ventilators needed at the state level all fall below the estimates of current supply, however, there are still regional variations. While the number of confirmed cases in Northwest Arkansas continues to increase, the rate of increase has abated somewhat, as can be seen, below.