Tag: February

 

Total U.S. COVID-19 deaths could hit 500,000 by February, researchers say

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The U.S. death toll from COVID-19 could surpass 500,000 by February unless nearly all Americans wear face masks, researchers said on Friday, as 14 states set new records for one-day increases in infections.

The latest estimate by the widely cited University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation reflects fears that cold winter weather will drive Americans indoors, where the virus is more likely to spread.

Nationwide, 76,195 new cases were reported on Thursday, according to a Reuters analysis, just shy of the single-day record high of 77,299 reported on July 16. Only India has reported more cases in a single day: 97,894, on Sept. 17.

“We are heading into a very substantial fall/winter surge,” said IHME director Chris Murray, who co-led the research.

The number of possible deaths could drop by 130,000 if 95% of Americans would cover their faces, the IHME said, echoing a recommendation by Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

U.S. Health Secretary Alex Azar attributed the increase in cases nationwide to the behavior of individuals, saying household gatherings have become a “major vector of disease spread.”

Asked about an assertion by President Donald Trump during Thursday night’s presidential debate that the United States is “rounding the turn” on the pandemic, Azar told CNN that Trump was trying to provide hope to Americans waiting for a vaccine.

FILE PHOTO: Certified nursing assistant (CNA) Shameka Johnson, wearing NFL Green Bay Packers apparel, processes a nasal swab at a drive-thru testing site outside the Southside Health Center as the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak continues in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S., October 21, 2020. REUTERS/Bing Guan

Pennsylvania, a swing state which is expected to play a crucial role in the Nov. 3 presidential election, reported its largest single-day increase in cases since the pandemic began.

“Daily increases are now comparable with what we saw in April 2020,” the Pennsylvania Department of Health said in a statement issued on Friday.

Also reporting record one-day increases were the states of Alaska, Arkansas, Illinois, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

HOSPITALIZATIONS CLIMB

On Thursday, there were 916 reported fatalities in the United States, a day after the country recorded over 1,200 new deaths for the first time since August.

Also on Thursday, the number of COVID-19 patients in U.S. hospitals climbed to a two-month high. There are now more than 41,000 hospitalized patients with coronavirus across the country, up 34% from Oct. 1, according to a Reuters analysis.

North Dakota, with 887 new cases on both Thursday and Friday, remains the hardest-hit state, based on new cases per capita, followed by South Dakota, Montana and Wisconsin, according to a Reuters tally.

Eight states reported record numbers of COVID-19 patients in the hospital on Friday: Alaska, Kentucky, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, West Virginia and Wyoming.

In Tennessee, hospitals in Nashville said they have experienced a 40% increase in

Study Projects Up To Half a Million U.S. Coronavirus Deaths by End of February | Health News

As the U.S. enters what some experts are calling the third peak of its coronavirus outbreak, a new study predicts a massive death toll by the end of February – more than half a million lives.

The study, published in the journal Nature Medicine on Friday, was performed by researchers at the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, which produces a well-known coronavirus model.

It found that the current death toll of 224,000 could swell to more than 511,000 by Feb. 28, a little more than four months away. However, universal mask use would reduce that number by almost 130,000. Fewer than half of U.S. residents in September reported “always” wearing a mask in public, according to the study.

“Under all scenarios evaluated here, the United States is likely to face a continued public health challenge from the COVID-19 pandemic through 28 February 2021 and beyond, with populous states in particular potentially facing high levels of illness, deaths and ICU demands as a result of the disease,” the study said.

Photos: Daily Life, Disrupted

TOPSHOT - A passenger in an outfit (R) poses for a picture as a security guard wearing a facemask as a preventive measure against the Covid-19 coronavirus stands nearby on a last century-style boat, featuring a theatrical drama set between the 1920s and 1930s in Wuhan, in Chinas central Hubei province on September 27, 2020. (Photo by Hector RETAMAL / AFP) (Photo by HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP via Getty Images)

The study comes after President Donald Trump at Thursday’s presidential debate repeated his claim that the U.S. is “rounding the corner” on its outbreak. Former Vice President Joe Biden, meanwhile, said the U.S. is in for a “dark winter.”

IHME said in an update this week that the current surge in the U.S. will likely intensify in November and December and reach its peak in January.

“Many states will face enormous pressure on hospital capacity and will likely have to re-impose some social distancing mandates,” it said. “The best strategy to delay re-imposition of mandates and the associated economic hardship is to expand mask use.”

Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s mortality forecast, which is an ensemble of models from dozens of groups, predicts the total death toll in the U.S. will reach 235,000 to 247,000 in the next roughly three weeks.

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Wearing masks could save more than 100,000 US lives through February, new study suggests

The study — from the Covid-19 forecasting team at the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation — notes that, as of September 21, only about 49% of US residents reported that they “always” wear a mask in public.

States grapple with mask rules at polls to avoid dangers of both superspreaders and standoffs

If mask-wearing remains 49% through February and states continue with removing social distancing mandates, the Covid-19 death toll across the United States could reach about 1 million deaths by February 28, according to the study, published in the journal Nature Medicine on Friday.

Yet under the assumption that states shut down when their daily death rate exceeds 8 deaths per 1 million people in the population but mask-wearing doesn’t change, the study’s model projections forecast the death toll could reach 511,373 deaths by February 28.

The scenario that 95% of people in each state wear masks — in addition to states reinstating social distancing mandates if their daily death rates exceed 8 deaths per 1 million people — resulted in the lowest death toll projection, with 381,798 deaths by February 28, according to the study.

For the study, the researchers analyzed data on Covid-19 cases and deaths in the United States from February 1 through September 21. That analysis — along with other factors, such as pneumonia seasonality, testing rates and mask use — helped inform model projections for the course of the pandemic through February 28.

The study had some limitations, including that the findings are only forecast projections from models and not definitive about what the future holds.

IHME Director Dr. Chris Murray emphasized during a virtual press briefing on Friday that the institute’s weekly modeling projections provide more updated data than what is provided in the study. However, the study still helps offer insight into how mask-wearing can make a difference.

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Key coronavirus model predicts nearly 80 percent rise in deaths by February

A key model foresees approximately 171,000 more coronavirus related deaths by February 2021, a number that would represent a spike of 78 percent.

The model from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington School of Medicine suggests there will be roughly 389,087 deaths by Feb. 1.

If all Americans use face masks, the model’s best-case scenario projects 314,000 deaths by that date. The model, however, foresees more than 477,000 deaths if mask mandates are eased.

“We expect deaths to stop declining and begin increasing in the next one to two weeks,” researchers said, according to CNN. “The winter surge appears to have begun somewhat later than the surge in Europe. Daily deaths will reach over 2,000 a day in January even with many states reimposing mandates before the end of the year.”

As of Thursday morning, the United States is now averaging approximately 52,345 new daily cases, an increase of 16 percent from the previous week. 

An analysis of COVID-19 data from Johns Hopkins University reveals that 21 states are recording a peak of weekly averages of new cases since the onset of the pandemic, CNN reported

The states seeing record increases in new cases include Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Public health experts are warning that rising cases will continue to spike as the weather cools and people move indoors. 

Anthony FauciAnthony FauciTrump fields questions on coronavirus, conspiracy theories in combative town hall Chris Christie says he ‘was wrong’ not to wear face mask at White House Overnight Health Care: Georgia gets Trump approval for Medicaid work requirements, partial expansion | McConnell shoots down .8 trillion coronavirus deal MORE, the government’s top infectious disease expert, on Thursday warned that American families should “evaluate the risk-benefit” of having a Thanksgiving gathering with regard to spreading coronavirus. 

“We really have to be careful this time, and each individual family evaluate the risk-benefit of doing that, particularly when you have people coming in from out of town who may have been on airplanes, in airports,” Fauci said.

He called the current situation in the U.S. “quite concerning [and] we’ve really got to double down on the fundamental public health measures that we talk about every single day because they can make a difference.”

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