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Published on January 04, 2021

How Rising COVID-19 Cases Impact Cone Health 

Online graph shows how COVID-19 puts the squeeze on capacity.  



People hear it often. The rising numbers of COVID-19 cases threaten to overwhelm hospitals. What does that mean and when will that happen? A new graph uses the latest analytics to forecast COVID-19 cases in the area and their impact. The public can see this information under the Cone Health tab at  

The graph is put together by the Cone Health Enterprise Analytics Department. “The graph is our best prediction of what the future will look like,” says Dr. Bruce Swords, chief physician executive, Cone Health. “It is a forecast and this forecast can be changed by our community applying the lessons learned during this pandemic— COVID-19 spreads less when people stay away from one another, wear masks and frequently wash their hands.” 

The graph is a sobering look into the coming months. It shows how the forecast number of COVID-19 cases pushes “traditional health care services” out of the hospital. As of today, that begins in late January. “That means very long waits in emergency departments. It means people who are hurting with painful hips, won’t get them replaced. It means that people who need care for anything other than a true emergency or COVID-19, are in for a long wait,” adds Swords.  

The information used to build the graph is compiled using state and other publicly available data. Cone Health capacity is staffed beds. The graph is adjusted in real time as new data becomes available.