Daily COVID-19 deaths projection by IHME

Courtesy of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- An influential COVID-19 model now predicts the U.S. will suffer more than 200,000 deaths by Oct. 1, which is about 30,000 more deaths than the prior projection.

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, at the University of Washington, projects that America’s death toll by Oct. 1 will reach 201,129, up from its prior projection of 169,890. Nearly 117,000 Americans have died from the disease so far, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The institute projects that the daily number of deaths, which is hovering around 740 now, will fall to about 640 by late July, but climb back to about 740 in early September, before rising more sharply in September to 1,422 on Oct. 1.

The IHME model has been cited by the White House. Its data shows that daily death rates in some U.S. states are increasing, including in Arizona, Florida and Oklahoma. Daily death rates are falling in Indiana and Kentucky.

Experts including Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, say increased movement and the relaxing of social distancing guidelines is leading to more infections.

"Even when states officially go by the standard type of recommendations, you still see people within a state or a city who are essentially not adhering to the kinds of recommendations -- particularly in situations of congregating together without wearing a mask," Fauci said.

For most people, the virus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. The vast majority of people recover.

COVID-19 spreads mainly from person to person through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Studies and evidence on infection control report that these droplets usually travel around 6 feet.

In public settings such as grocery stores, pharmacies and gas stations, where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, the CDC recommends that people wear cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus.

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