Models show rising U.S. COVID-19 cases, deaths in months ahead

June 12, 2020

With more than 2 million cases of COVID-19 detected in the United States, public health experts are revising models meant to guide and inform the public on what the next few months of battling the global pandemic will look like. The Johns Hopkins University's COVID-19 tracker currently shows over 2,000,000 cases and more than 113,000 deaths.

The model produced by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, influential among members of the White House coronavirus task force, updated its projection of fatalities due to the novel coronavirus, showing the U.S. death toll could reach about 170,000 by October 1. That model shows a second wave of fatal infections, with deaths from the virus dropping off in July and August before rising sharply at the end of September and worsening through October and November.

Ashish Jha, MD, MPH, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, told CNN the country could see another 100,000 deaths before September. Jha predicts not a drop-off but a rise in deaths as states open up and mass protests against racial injustice continue across the country.

He told National Public Radio (NPR) the United States is now seeing between 20,000 and 25,000 new cases a day, and about 800 to 1,000 people a day are dying from this virus. Even though increased testing plays a role in case counts, Jha warned that many of these new cases are indicative of community spread.

Public health experts say that states need to re-emphasize safety measures that can slow the spread of the virus, including washing hands, maintaining a physical distance of at least six feet from others, and wearing a facemask.

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