An ensemble forecast published by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now projects more than 130,000 coronavirus deaths in the United States by July 4.
The rate of new deaths is expected to grow in some states, a sign the pandemic may be worsening in some regions — even as the country begins to reopen.
This week’s national forecast relies on 17 individual forecasts from outside institutions and researchers. The new projections, published Friday, forecast about 130,560 deaths by July 4, with a possible range of 124,260 to 139,880 deaths.
The previous ensemble forecast, published last Thursday, forecast 127,230 US deaths by June 27.
“The state-level ensemble forecasts suggest that the number of new deaths over the next four weeks in Arizona, Arkansas, Hawaii, North Carolina, Utah, and Vermont will likely exceed the number reported over the last four weeks,” the CDC says on its forecasting website.
“For other states, the number of new deaths is expected to be similar or decrease slightly compared to the previous four weeks.”
Also on Friday, CDC officials reiterated the importance of social distancing, wearing face coverings in public and frequent hand washing.
"We know the pandemic is not over," Dr. Jay Butler, CDC's deputy director for infectious diseases, said during a call with reporters.
Note on the forecast: Unlike some individual models, the CDC’s ensemble forecast only offers projections for the next month.