As the number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in Ohio continues to rise, one of the biggest questions has been "when will this all be over?"
According to Cleveland Clinic CEO Dr. Tomislav Mihaljevic, Ohio's peak may still be a month -- or even more -- away.
Appearing on MSNBC's Morning Joe on Friday, Mihaljevic answered questions about the pandemic and the response at both the local and federal levels. In doing so, Mihaljevic revealed that the Cleveland Clinic is currently projecting for cases in Ohio to peak in mid-May to mid-June, with a gradual decrease into July.
"The timeline is really challenging," Mihaljevic said. "Our modeling projections are telling us that if we are able to flatten the curve to some extent, we are expecting the peak of this disease at least in our home state of Ohio to occur sometime between mid-May and mid-June with a gradual decline in the number of cases toward mid-late July. This is the best case scenario."
Mihaljevic's comments echo the sentiment shared earlier this week by Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton, who said she couldn't make any promises that the state would be able to relax its physical distancing policies by the start of the summer. While Acton's models currently call for a mid-late April peak of 10,000 new daily cases, the reality remains that the pandemic won't end with the peak.
“I wish I could give you hope about your summer," Acton said at her daily press briefing on Wednesday. "The truth is, if the curve peaks in May, it will be a slow process to get to the end of the curve.
“This will not be a switch you flick and everything will go back to normal. Life will be different for quite some time to come, and maybe in some ways that are permanent."
As of Thursday, Ohio has had 2,902 confirmed coronavirus cases, 802 of which have resulted in hospitalization, 260 Intensive Care Unit admissions and 81 deaths. Dating back to the discovery of the state's first positive coronavirus case on March 9, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has taken several measures to encourage physical distancing, including a stay-at-home order that is currently in place until at least May 1.