On March 16, 2020, Senator Walter Rand Institute for Public Affairs and the Center for Computational and Integrative Biology at Rutgers University-Camden in collaboration with New Jersey Health Initiatives released a research brief comparing estimates of available hospital beds, by the eight South Jersey counties, with the likely demand for hospital beds under three coronavirus spread scenarios. We estimated: 1) the number of hospital beds available per county, 2) peak hospital bed demand, and 3) when each county would reach peak demand.

This follow-up brief updates the previous model and predicts when demand for hospital beds will first surpass capacity in each of the 21 New Jersey counties. Two features of this model are new. First, the model combines a prior time period of no coronavirus action with a current time period of social distancing action. This combination is because Gov. Murphy imposed social distancing orders after we had positive cases in New Jersey. The new model accounts for those changes. Second, on March 23, the number of cases in each county varied substantially, with Bergen County having 609 cases and Cumberland and Salem Counties having only one case. In this model, we treated the counties individually. We determined how long it would take each county to reach hospital capacity by using the number of positive coronavirus tests in that county on March 23, the current number of hospital beds in that county, and the population in that county.

Summary          Data (Moderate)          Data (Strong)

For more information, contact Darren Spielman, PhD, at darren.spielman@rutgers.edu or Sarah Allred, PhD at srallred@camden.rutgers.edu.