An influential model of the coronavirus pandemic has predicted 399,000 total coronavirus deaths in the US by Feb. 1, a 15,000-death increase over last week’s prediction.
The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington School of Medicine said it’s most likely that by the middle of January, 2,250 Americans will be dying every day from coronavirus – three times more than the current rate.
“If states do not react to rising numbers by re-imposing mandates, cumulative deaths could reach 514,000 by the same date,” the IHME said in its latest forecast. “The fall/winter surge should lead to a daily death toll that is approximately three times higher than now by mid-January. Hospital systems, particularly ICUs, are expected to be under extreme stress in December and January in 18 states.”
The IHME said if states would require mask use or find other ways to encourage more people to use them, fewer people would die.
“Scaling up mask wearing can delay the need for further social distancing mandates and save 62,000 lives by February 1,” it said.
Some context: Just last week, the IHME projected 385,000 deaths by Feb. 1.
Cases and deaths have skyrocketed across the US in recent days and Thursday saw the highest single Covid-19 case count on record in the US, with cases passing 83,757 before 8 p.m. ET.