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Coronavirus Surge: Local Experts Say California's Peak Could Come In 11 Days Or More

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — You may have heard that we should expect this week to be the worst across the nation in regard to the coronavirus, but what does that mean for us in California?

If you've followed the news at all this weekend, you likely heard some form of this warning from the Surgeon General: "This is going to be the hardest and saddest week of most American lives quite frankly. This is going to be our Pearl Harbor moment, our 9/11 moment only its not going to be localized it's going to be happening all over the country."

But local health agencies warn that's not necessarily the case here. Dr. Olivia Kasirye with Sacramento County's Department of Health and Human Services, points to data like this from The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.

"The worst week does vary from state to state," Kasirye said.

READ: Flattening The Curve: Experts Say California Is Doing Better Than Projected

The data shows our peak here in California is currently projected 11 days from now, with 70 deaths that day.  Compare that to New York with a projected peak in 3 days with 878 deaths that day, and Louisiana — which models suggest — is in its peak right now.

So, you can understand why there is concern this week across the nation.

Kasirye noted that California's anticipated peak has been a moving target. On Sunday this model updated our peak, moving it up from May to mid-April, closer to the rest of the country.

Researchers say the updated model factors in more social distancing data.

ALSO: Gov. Newsom Tours Sleep Train Arena As Work Starts To Turn It Into Coronavirus Surge Hospital

"You have to remember that the model is an estimate based on the data that is provided and one of the things that has happened over time is we have been able to do a lot more testing," Kasirye said.

In his press conference Monday, Governor Gavin Newsom said he still expects our peak in May. We're told that's based on emerging county-level data that is not yet public.

We also spoke with the CEO of UC Davis Health, Dr. David Lubarsky, and Brad Pollock, Chair of Department of Public Health Sciences at UC Davis. They pointed out that California has what amounts to several separate COVID-19 epidemics right now. There are separate significant outbreaks in Sacramento, the Bay Area and Los Angeles. They Lubarsky and Pollock say that each region will likely peak at different times.

Realistically, it would be difficult to determine a "worst week" across the state, let alone across the country.

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