As of Friday morning, the model from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington projects that 317,312 people may die from the illness — marking an increase of about 8,000 deaths from a previous estimate the model projected one week ago.
Since January, US health authorities have identified more than 5 million cases nationwide, and more than 180,000 people have died, according to the latest data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
The new IHME estimate suggests that the United States could see more than 136,000 additional deaths between now and December, and the daily death rate could rise to more than 2,000 per day.
Yet IHME researchers noted on their website on Thursday, when they updated their model, that “if mask wearing in public increases to 95%, more than 67,000 lives could be saved.”‘
Another forecast by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention puts the number of US deaths at 200,000 by September 19.
The projections published Thursday forecast 200,292 deaths by September 19, with a possible range of 195,824 to 207,269 deaths.
“State- and territory-level ensemble forecasts predict that the number of reported new deaths per week may decrease in 18 jurisdictions. Trends in numbers of future reported deaths are uncertain or predicted to remain stable in the other jurisdictions,” the CDC says on its forecasting website.
Unlike some individual models, the CDC’s ensemble forecast projects only about a month. The previous ensemble forecast, published August 20, projected roughly 195,000 coronavirus deaths by September 12.