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New coronavirus projection predicts 208,000 US deaths by November, says universal mask usage would save 45,000 lives

Nurses from the Bristol-Burlington Health District collects a patient's nasal swab at Bristol Hospital's drive-through coronavirus specimen collection station. The station has collected over 120 samples on previous days but, due to a scarcity of specimen collection kits, the hospital collects 40 tests a day. (Mark Mirko/Hartford Courant/TNS)

A newly released model predicts that a total of 208,000 Americans will have died from COVID-19 by Nov. 1.

That model, from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, also projects that if 95% of people wear masks, 45,000 fewer Americans will die.

As of Tuesday, more than 131,000 people in the U.S. have died from COVID-19, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins. The worldwide death toll is over 540,000.

Previously, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation model extended until Oct. 1, and it was predicting 175,000 deaths by that date.

“Many states are expected to experience significant increases in cases and deaths in September and October,” Director Dr. Christopher Murray said in a press release. “Those who refuse masks are putting their lives, their families, their friends and their communities at risk.”

Seeing as projecting reported deaths from a 8-month-old virus is not an exact science, the institute’s model actually provides a death range, predicting between 186,000 and 244,000 if the current trajectory holds.

An alternate, mask-wearing universe would have between 151,000 and 177,000 total deaths by Nov. 1, according to the new model.

Several different institutions are currently attempting to predict exactly how many people will die from coronavirus.


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