An influential coronavirus model has updated its projection to 371,509 deaths by Jan. 1 — a drop of about 7,000 deaths from projections about a week ago.
The model from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington’s School of Medicine is also predicting 3,000 coronavirus deaths a day by the end of the year.
The forecast is projecting 2.5 million global deaths by Jan. 1, but that number drops to 1.8 million if 95% of the world’s population wore masks, researchers said.
When factoring in mask usage by 95% of the US population, the number of cumulative deaths drop to 275,000 by Jan. 1, saving nearly 100,000 lives between September and late December, according to the model. However, national mask use is closer to 48%, researchers said, making it doubtful the US will be able to significantly drop the death toll.
Twelve states are now seeing mask usage rates above 50% — California, Washington, Colorado, Texas, Mississippi, Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, IHME said.