An influential model of the coronavirus pandemic predicts 385,611 coronavirus deaths in the United States by February 1.
The US has reported at least 223,000 Covid-19 deaths over the past eight months, according to Johns Hopkins University. The model estimates that the country could see more than 100,000 additional deaths over the next three months.
The new model is slightly fewer than last week’s forecast for the same time frame -- but the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington School of Medicine says case counts and deaths are up across the US.
“In the last week, the increase in daily cases has become much clearer, and for the first time since early August, daily deaths have begun to rise. We believe that the fall/winter surge has begun, albeit several weeks behind the massive surge in Europe,” the IHME says in its weekly update.
“The fall/winter surge will intensify in November and December, reaching a peak in January. Many states will face enormous pressure on hospital capacity and will likely have to re-impose some social distancing mandates. The best strategy to delay re-imposition of mandates and the associated economic hardship is to expand mask use.”
Last week, the IHME projected 389,087 coronavirus deaths in the US by February 1. The current projections assume states will reimpose social distancing mandates when daily death rates worsen.
The model projects 100,000 more deaths if all mandates were eased -- an unlikely scenario -- and 322,000 deaths if everyone started wearing masks.