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August 24, 2020 -Today, IHME is forecasting 309,918 cumulative deaths by December 1st in the United States (“current projection” scenario), an increase of about 15,000 from the previous forecast on August 6.

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Increasing mask use in the US to 95% through measures such as state and/or federal mandates with penalties and/or a concerted public information campaign would save more than 69,000 lives by December 1st.

Mask use is holding steady around 55% since late July. Mask use above the national average is seen in California, Arizona, Texas, Florida, South Carolina, Virginia and most of the Northeastern states.

IHME expects the US daily death rate will drop very slowly in September and then rise to nearly 2,000 per day by December 1st.  Without the reimposition of mandates in select states, the daily death rate could be much higher by December 1st.  

Impacts on Selected States

The large epidemics in Florida, Texas, Arizona and California have peaked or stabilized. Overall for the US, national cases have been declining since late July, while deaths have remained quite steady at around 1,000 per day. 

A few states have effective “R” (the number of new infections caused by each infection) greater than 1: Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Indiana, Kentucky and West Virginia.  Many states are just below an effective R of 1 meaning small changes in individual behavior can lead to effective R rising above 1. 

States with daily death rates over 4 per million people are in a belt across the Southern United States: South Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Texas, along with Arizona and Nevada.

These forecasts can be viewed at: https://covid19.healthdata.org/united-states-of-america

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) is an independent population health research center at UW Medicine, part of the University of Washington, that provides rigorous and comparable measurement of the world’s most important health problems and evaluates the strategies used to address them. IHME makes this information freely available so that policymakers have the evidence they need to make informed decisions about how to allocate resources to best improve population health.