SEATTLE, June 24, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- In its first projections comparing different actions to control COVID-19 transmission, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington is forecasting nearly 180,000 in the United States will die by October 1.
The forecast shows 179,106 deaths (with a range of 159,497 to 213,715). Those numbers drop to 146,047 (with a range of 140,849 to 153,438), if at least 95 percent of people wear masks in public.
"There is no doubt that even as states open up, the United States is still grappling with a large epidemic on a course to increase beginning in late August and intensifying in September," said IHME Director Dr. Christopher Murray. "People need to know that wearing masks can reduce transmission of the virus by as much as 50 percent, and those who refuse are putting their lives, their families, their friends, and their communities at risk."
The new US forecast is lower than the forecast of 201,129 deaths released on June 15. California and other states have seen over the past several weeks increasing case numbers, but deaths are not yet rising at the same rate, a trend which could change in the coming weeks
"States reporting the ages of confirmed cases suggest there are more cases being detected in younger people who are at substantially lower risk of death than older people," Murray said. "It remains to be seen how this will unfold over the next few weeks, and if transmission continues to go up, we may see increasing infections in at-risk populations."
IHME's new projections include the re-imposition of strong social distancing mandates when deaths per day reach a level of 8 per one million people, but currently only Texas and Florida reach this level of resurgence before October 1. Mask wearing at current reported rates is included in the model.
"These factors are vital in our projections and highlight how many lives can be saved," Murray said.
The forecasts by state with and without 95% percent wearing masks are:
"States are attempting the difficult balancing act of preserving health and enabling economic recovery," Murray said. "Going forward, IHME will continue to forecast for different scenarios including planned intermittent mandates in the fall when deaths per day may reach higher levels within each state, recognizing that solutions are not uniform across communities."
The new death projections and other information, such as hospital resources usage, are available at https://covid19.healthdata.org.
We wish to warmly acknowledge the support of these and others who have made our COVID-19 estimation efforts possible: ACAPS; American Hospital Association; Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford; Bloomberg Philanthropies; Boston Children's/Health Map; California Health Care Foundation; Carnegie Mellon University; Christopher Adolph and colleagues at the Department of Political Science, University of Washington; Descartes Labs; Facebook Data for Good; Google Labs; John Stanton & Theresa Gillespie; Julie & Erik Nordstrom; Kaiser Family Foundation; Medtronic Foundation; Microsoft AI for Health; National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH); National Science Foundation; Our World in Data; Premise; Qumulo; Real Time Medical Systems; Redapt; SafeGraph; The COVID Tracking Project; The Johns Hopkins University; The Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS); The New York Times; UNESCO; University of Maryland; University of Miami Institute for Advanced Study of the Americas (Felicia Knaul and Michael Touchton); Wellcome Trust; World Health Organization; and finally, the many Ministries of Health and Public Health Departments across the world, collaborators and partners for their tireless data collection efforts. Thank you.
About the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation
The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) is an independent global health research organization at the University of Washington School of Medicine that provides rigorous and comparable measurement of the world's most important health problems and evaluates the strategies used to address them. IHME is committed to transparency and makes this information widely available so that policymakers have the evidence they need to make informed decisions on allocating resources to improve population health.
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SOURCE Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation