University of Washington

Regional News • Americas • United States
Researchers predict that US Covid-19 death toll could reach 300,000 by December
Researchers predict that US Covid-19 death toll could reach 300,000 by December
Credit: unsplash.com/United Nations COVID-19 Response

Researchers at Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation predict that the US Covid-19 death toll could reach 300,000 by December, almost twice as much as the current number of around 160,000 deaths, or "about five times the number of people who die of flu each year."

"In fact, if this projection pans out, coronavirus will likely be the third-leading cause of death in the U.S. for 2020, only behind heart disease and cancer," so global health correspondent Nurith Aizenman in an interview with NPR.

The forecast also took into consideration "states moving to stay-at-home orders and shutdowns once cases skyrocket" and "50% of schools will be doing online-only instruction" but it does not " assume widespread mask use, and that is what could change things," Aizenman added.

The researchers assumed 50% of people were wearing masks if "out and about", but assuming if 95% of people wore masks " about half of the deaths between now and December 1 would be prevented."