The University of Washington has extended its projection of the number of people likely to die from a coronavirus in the United States until November 1, predicting at least 208,255 deaths by then, based on the current scenario.
But if 95 percent of the population wears a mask in public, that number would drop to about 162,808, the university’s Institute of Metrology and Health Assessment (IHME) said on Tuesday.
Last week, the IHME predicted around 175,168 deaths on October 1, according to the current scenario. But if almost everyone wears a face mask, that number would drop to just over 150,000.
How modeling works: The current model includes forecasts that anticipate the reimposition of strong social distancing mandates when daily deaths reach a level of eight per million people, combined with widespread adoption of the mask, versus an approach that takes no action preventive. For example, strong social distancing measures in Florida could reduce 6,173 deaths there by October 1.
The model continues to predict a sharp increase in deaths and cases starting between mid-September and the end of September and October. Projections may change if there is a further increase in infections among at-risk populations. Currently, states report that they are detecting an increasing number of cases in young people, who have a lower risk of death, said the IHME.
A certain context: So far, according to Johns Hopkins University, more than 2.96 million Americans have been diagnosed with coronavirus infections and at least 130,902 have died.