The University of Washington now projects there will be 230,822 US deaths from Covid-19 by November, based on the current scenario.
On July 22, the university’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) forecasted 219,864 total deaths from the virus by November.
The latest update reflects an increase of about 11,000 deaths due to an increase in infections and the refusal by some people to wear masks, to practice social distancing, and to perform other measures to mitigate the transmission of the virus.
If the US universally adopted wearing masks, the number of deaths by November would drop to nearly 198,831, the model projected. The use of masks is up but not as high as it should be across the nation. However, there has been a rise in mask wearing across states and locations with increased cases and deaths, the IHME said.
"If 95% of Americans wore masks each time they left their homes, infection rates would drop, hospitalizations would drop, and forecast deaths would drop,” said Ali Mokdad, a professor of health metrics sciences at IHME. "Unfortunately, people let down their guard until media report the risk of increased infections."
Some context: So far, according to Johns Hopkins University, nearly 4.5 million Americans have been diagnosed with coronavirus infections and at least 152,000 have died.
"We would like for Americans to keep their guard up to reduce the transmission of the virus. We do not have an effective drug and vaccines are on their way, so prevention is key." Mokdad told CNN.