Another 134,000 people could die of coronavirus in the United States by December if no further safety measures were mandated, researches say. The numbers could be much worse if restrictions are loosened.
A projection by the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation said that about 70,000 lives could be saved if more Americans wore masks.
So far 176,000 people died of coronavirus in the US since the pandemic began, and more than 5.6 million have been infected.
IHME’s chief, Dr. Chris Murray projected that if nothing about the nation’s approach to prevention changed, death rates would dip in September but rise later in the fall, and the total would reach about 310,000 by December 1.
If governments ease current social distancing restrictions and mask mandates, daily death rates could reach 6,000 daily by December, up from his current prediction of 2,000 daily, Murray said.
On the other hand, if significantly more people wore masks, the projection of total deaths from now to December would drop by almost 70,000, he said. About 95% of the US population would have to wear masks for that to happen, he said.
Coronavirus case rates have been dropping for weeks in parts of the US, but death rates have been relatively elevated.