Model forecasts 300,000 Americans will die from coronavirus by December 1

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SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – Nearly 300,000 US deaths from coronavirus are predicted by December 1, according to new data from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington’s School of Medicine.

Officials said, however, if everyone began to wear masks consistently starting today, about 70,000 lives could be saved.

According to the data, the US forecast totals 295,011 deaths by December.

“We’re seeing a rollercoaster in the United States,” said IHME Director Christopher Murray. “It appears that people are wearing masks and socially distancing more frequently as infections increase, then after a while as infections drop, people let their guard down and stop taking these measures to protect themselves and others – which, of course, leads to more infections. And the potentially deadly cycle starts over again.”

Murray added that while there appear to be fewer transmissions of the virus in Arizona, California, Florida, and Texas, deaths are rising “and will continue to rise for the next week or two.”

IHME’s model assumes that states will reimpose a series of mandates, including non-essential business closures and stay-at-home orders, when the daily death rate reaches 8 per million.

This threshold is based on data regarding when states and/or communities imposed mandates in March and April, and implies that many states will have to reimpose mandates. 

As a result, the model suggests which states will need to reimpose mandates and when:

  • August – Arizona, Florida, Mississippi, and South Carolina
  • September – Georgia and Texas
  • October – Colorado, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon, and Washington.
  • November – Alabama, Arkansas, California, Iowa, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah, and Wisconsin.

However, if mask use is increased to 95%, the re-imposition of stricter mandates could be delayed 6 to 8 weeks on average, officials said.

At last check, there were 529,980 total confirmed cases in California, and 9,869 deaths.

A total 8,500,463 tests were reported.

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