Models from the University of Washington predict that the US death toll from COVID-19 will rise by 80% come February.

Americans should brace themselves for a rocky February. Now that 8 million Americans have caught COVID-19 and 218,000 have died, they should expect 171,000 more people to die by February. 

COVID-19 Forecasts

CNN reports that models from the University of Washington School of Medicine project about 389,087 Americans to die by February 1. In short, 78% more Americans will die by that date. 

Possible Forecast Changes 

If all Americans wear masks, the model predicts 314,000 deaths by that date. However, if states ease their mask orders, the deaths could soar to 477,000. Five days ago, the model said around 395,000 Americans would die by February 1. This number went down to 389,087 because COVID-19 is spreading among young people.

According to the Institute, they expect the death toll to rise within the next two weeks. They said the US would face a winter surge, similar to Europe. They added that 2,000 Americans would die every day in January even if states reimpose strict safety mandates. 

COVID-19 Numbers in the US

COVID-19 cases keep surging in the US. On Wednesday, the US reported 60,000 patients, with an added 56,000 reported through Thursday. All the data came from Johns Hopkins University.

CNN says that the US sees 52,345 cases every day on average. This number represents a 16% rise from last week. Dr. Peter Hotez, from the Baylor College of Medicine, says that these numbers are “a very ominous sign.”

Dr. Hotez believes the US faces a “pretty bad” fall and winter. Moreover, he adds that this period might be “one of the worst periods” of the pandemic and “modern American public health.”

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