Just as nine states were reporting record highs of coronavirus cases and hospitalizations—and as politicians were calling the media frenzy “overblown”—a new study shows that the total U.S. death toll from COVID-19 could eke past 200,000 by October. “An influential model from the University of Washington now predicts the death toll from the virus to now reach 201,129 by Oct. 1—18 percent higher than earlier forecasts—as states reopen and relax social-distancing measures,” reports the New York Post.
“It is increasingly clear that COVID-19’s toll will extend beyond the summer months in the Northern Hemisphere, and current epidemics could easily worsen as the Southern Hemisphere nears its winter season,” the university’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation said. Furthermore, they projected the number of deaths by state, through October 1st, and the results may startle you.
The States Most in Trouble
“Rising rates of COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations and deaths are now occurring in the wake of eased or ended distancing policies,” the institute’s analysts claim. “We, collectively, must equip ourselves for epidemic response and mitigation strategies beyond the world’s first phases of this pandemic.”
Here’s which areas are predicted to be hit the hardest: “With the virus continuing to spread, Florida was predicted to be among the hardest-hit states by October with 18,675 deaths, the group said. The estimates were up from a June 10 projection of 6,559,” reports the Post. “The institute also revised an estimate for virus-related fatalities in California by 72 percent from 8,812 to 15,155. And Arizona also was given a worse outlook, up by 56 percent to 7,415 fatalities up from 4,762 in the same time frame.”
“If the US is unable to check the growth in September, we could be facing worsening trends in October, November, and the following months if the pandemic, as we expect, follows pneumonia seasonality,” Director Dr. Christopher Murray said in a statement.
To See Your Chances of Dying
To see the number of deaths in your state—and the projected increase or decrease—the University’s computer model is easy to use. The map view shows deaths leveling off countrywide but they are projected to rise come September. You can also search by state. Alabama is projected to have more than 3,600 deaths by October 1. Wisconsin, a state generally thought to have COVID-19 under control, is projected to have more than 1,300 deaths, up from the current toll of 712.
These numbers are important because they show how fatal the disease can be, instead of simply reflecting the result of increased testing. “These predictions are based on our current knowledge of COVID-19 and key drivers in the US, as well as some model parameter updates to inform estimates beyond August (e.g., resumption of in-person instruction at previously closed educational facilities),” say the researchers. “We anticipate more data to become available on reopening plans beyond June and July, as well as the potential for locations to reinstate prior distancing policies or implement new ones amid shifting COVID-19 trends. We will continue to update model inputs and parameters as new information emerges, and we will communicate these changes accordingly.”
To stay safe in your state, wash your hands frequently, practice social distancing, wear a face covering and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don’t miss these Things You Should Never Do During the Coronavirus Pandemic.