This Is How Many More Americans Will Die From COVID in the Next 4 Months
These new projections from researchers at the University of Washington are sobering.
With numbers continuing to rise in many parts of the world, including most of the U.S., it's clear that COVID-19 is still spreading and still deadly. According to data compiled by The New York Times, nearly 544,200 deaths so far have been attributed to coronavirus globally, about 131,3000 of which were Americans. How much higher will that total climb as cases surge? On Tuesday, the University of Washington, which has been using models to predict COVID deaths, released new data revealing where we could be by November of this year. And their predictions are startling. As reported by CNN, the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) models predict that, by Nov. 1, the U.S. will most likely have recorded 208,255 coronavirus deaths or more. That means that over 75,000 more Americans will die of the disease between now and November.
This number—or one even higher—is in our future if circumstances do not change in a significant way. But, IHME has also projected that, if 95 percent of Americans wore masks in public, the number of new deaths would drop by about 45,000. That's a 60 percent difference. In the almost universal adoption of masks scenario, the total amount of American deaths by Nov. 1 would be closer to 163,000.
U.S. News & World Report notes that the IHME model presents a range of results. And while the researchers have determined that the 208,255 figure is the most probable, the U.S. could see its total rise to anywhere from 186,000 to 244,541 by the beginning of November. The projections assume that some level of lockdown will return in states that reach eight deaths per every one million people per day. They also assume that schools will reopen for the 2020-2021 school year.
"We can now see the projected trajectory of the epidemic into the fall, and many states are expected to experience significant increases in cases and deaths in September and October," Christopher Murray, the IHME director, said in a statement. "However, as we all have come to recognize, wearing masks can substantially reduce transmission of the virus. Mask mandates delay the need for re-imposing closures of businesses and have huge economic benefits. Moreover, those who refuse masks are putting their lives, their families, their friends, and their communities at risk." And for more on the continued spread, This Is Who's Transmitting Over 50 Percent of COVID Cases, Study Finds.