A new forecast is predicting the coronavirus death toll in the United States will almost double by the end of the year but 70,000 lives could be saved if everyone wears a mask – as grim new figures reveal one person has died every 80 seconds in the last week.
The University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics revised its death toll forecast on Thursday to predict nearly 300,000 deaths by December 1.
Researchers say that 70,000 lives could be saved if 95 percent of Americans wear masks from today when they leave their homes.
Currently, the US death toll from COVID-19 has surpassed 158,000.
It comes as grim figures revealed that one American has died every 80 seconds in the past week from coronavirus.
The University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics revised its death toll forecast on Thursday to predict nearly 300,000 deaths by December 1. Researchers say that 70,000 lives could be saved if 95 percent of Americans wear masks from today when they leave their homes
The death toll over the past seven days alone is just over 7,500 and, on average, 1,000 Americans are dying each day.
Deaths related to COVID-19 have now risen nationally for four straight weeks, while the number of infections have declined for the second week, according to a Reuters analysis of data.
IHME Director Dr Christopher Murray acknowledged there appears to be fewer transmissions of the virus in the hotspot states of Arizona, California, Florida and Texas but said deaths are rising and will continue to rise for the next week or two.
He put the drop in infections down to a combination of local mandates for mask use, bar and restaurant closures and more responsible behavior by the public.
‘The public’s behavior had a direct correlation to the transmission of the virus and, in turn, the numbers of deaths,’ Murray said.
‘Such efforts to act more cautiously and responsibly will be an important aspect of COVID-19 forecasting and the up-and-down patterns in individual states throughout the coming months and into next year.
‘We’re seeing a rollercoaster in the United States.
‘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.’
Deaths related to COVID-19 have now risen nationally for four straight weeks. Currently, the US death toll from COVID-19 has surpassed 158,000
Deaths related to coronavirus increased nationally by 36 percent in the week ending August 2, according to a Reuters analysis of state and county data
Murray said that based on cases, hospitalizations and deaths, several states are seeing increases in the transmission of COVID-19, including Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Virginia.
‘These states may experience increasing cases for several weeks and then may see a response toward more responsible behavior,’ Murray said.
Deaths related to coronavirus increased nationally by 36 percent in the week ending August 2, according to a Reuters analysis of state and county data.
A total of 22 states have reported increases in deaths for at least two straight weeks, including hotspots California, Texas and Florida.
Deaths in Arizona, another hotspot state, decreased last week for the first time since they started to surge in early July.
Even though deaths are now rising across the US, they are below the levels seen in April when an average of 2,000 people a day were dying from the virus – mostly in the original epicenter of New York.
Deaths surged in April in the weeks after coronavirus infections spiked mostly in the Northeast.
The number of fatalities are now increasing in Sunbelt states and across the Midwest after infections surged there throughout June and July.
The death rate is a lagging indicator and can continue to rise weeks after new infections drop. A coronavirus death, when it occurs, typically comes several weeks after a person is first infected.
The number of infections across the US has now fallen for the second straight week and an average of nearly 60,000 new cases are being reported each day
The number of new COVID-19 cases reported last week fell 5 percent from the previous week. California, Florida and Texas collectively accounted for nearly 180,000 of the new cases, though new infections were lower in all three states compared to the previous week