How many R.I. residents will die from the coronavirus? Here’s what one projection says

Buildings were reflected in puddles on a street nearly empty of pedestrians and cars in Providence, R.I.
Buildings were reflected in puddles on a street nearly empty of pedestrians and cars in Providence, R.I.Steven Senne/Associated Press

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Happy Wednesday and welcome to Rhode Map, your daily guide to everything happening in the Ocean State. I'm Dan McGowan and I’m not in the mood for April Fools’ jokes today. Let’s push them off until June. Follow me on Twitter @DanMcGowan or send tips to Dan.McGowan@globe.com.

The latest coronavirus numbers from the Department of Health: Rhode Island had 488 cases of the coronavirus as of Tuesday, and 59 residents were in the hospital. Eight people have died, and 1,000 people are in self-quarantine. Amanda Milkovits has a solid breakdown here.


Point of personal expression: Today marks one year since I started at the Globe, and I never imagined that I’d be writing about Rhode Island’s projected death count from a global pandemic. But here we are.

The estimates on the number of people who will die from the coronavirus still appear to be a moving target, but a widely-cited study from the University of Washington projects that Rhode Island could see 265 deaths by June 10. Researchers are updating the numbers regularly, so they do change from time to time.

The researchers predicted the spread of the virus will peak in Rhode Island on April 20, with the state needing 822 hospital beds and 100 invasive ventilators. The study suggests the state could see nine people dying per day by April 20, before the numbers gradually drop to zero by June.

State officials have not released their own projections, but Governor Gina Raimondo said Tuesday she was familiar with the University of Washington study. She said the state’s model looks a little different, but called the university’s model “directionally correct.”


“Our model would suggest that the peak is further out, but also higher,” Raimondo said.

For the entire country, the University of Washington’s report projects the peak of the coronavirus will come on April 16, and more than 90,000 Americans could die by June.


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Dan McGowan can be reached at dan.mcgowan@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @danmcgowan.