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Expe: Coronavirus Deaths Could Peak in 3 Weeks

Ira Longini, a leading epidemiologist, is estimating the peak of deaths from the coronavirus in the United States will be in about three weeks and says it could possibly lead to a paial lifting of shelter-in-place directives.

That would allow many people to return to work, CNN repoed.

Longini, a professor at the University of Florida, is advising the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CNN repoed his comments in a story posted Wednesday.

“I would guess the U.S. will hit a peak in deaths in the next two to three weeks, as the doubling time seems to be about two to three days,” he said. “Maybe a paial lifting of the shelter-in-place for those less vulnerable may make some sense, in about three weeks. By then, much of the damage will have been done.”

The timetable would generally fit the one outlined by President Donald Trump, who has said he would like to get the economy back open by the Easter holiday on April 12.

Longini was asked about the risk when the virus circulated again in the following weeks.

“If it were limited, and we continued to protect the most vulnerable, that may be acceptable for now,” he said. “We can also keep an eye on China as they begin to relax restrictions there.”

William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University, said the U.S. could reach the peak in three to six weeks.

“My notions are harmonious in that I also anticipate … [the next] three to six weeks will be critical here in the United States,” he said.

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