Southern 7 Explains 'Flattening the Curve'
By West Kentucky Star Staff
SOUTHERN ILLINOIS - In the fight against COVID-19, the term "flattening the curve" is being used often, but what does that really mean?

According to Southern Seven Health Department, flattening the curve simply refers to using protective practices to slow the rate of COVID-19 infection so hospitals have beds, supplies, and medical staff for all of the patients who need care.   

When a large number of people become very sick over the course of a few days, this can overwhelm a hospital or care facility.  Too many people becoming severely ill with COVID-19 at roughly the same time could result in a shortage of hospital beds, equipment, or doctors. On a graph, a sudden surge in patients over a short time could be represented as a tall, narrow curve.  

However, if that same large number of patients arrived at the hospital at a slower rate, for example, over the course of several weeks, the line of the graph would look like a longer, flatter curve. 

In this situation, fewer patients would arrive at the hospital each day. This would allow hospitals to be better prepared to keep up with adequate supplies, beds, and health care providers to care for them.

For more information, visit the Southern Seven Health Department's COVID-19 page at the link below.

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Southern 7 Health Department: COVID-19

Published 03:09 PM, Thursday Apr. 02, 2020
Updated 09:43 AM, Friday Apr. 03, 2020



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