The latest forecast from an influential coronavirus model is that a total of 394,693 U.S. coronavirus deaths will occur by February 1.
According to the Johns Hopkins University, that’s about 181,000 additional deaths, beyond the current U.S. death toll of 213,860.
The model of the Institute of Health Metrics and Assessment at the University of Washington School of Medicine assumes that daily deaths in the US will be around 2,300 by mid-January. For comparison, the US death toll on Friday was 990, according to Johns Hopkins University.
The new projections are based on the current conditions. If U.S. social distancing mandates are relaxed, the model predicts 502,852 coronavirus-related deaths by Feb.1.
Masks make a difference. If 95% of the people in the US were to wear masks, the model would assume 79,000 fewer lives would be lost by February 1, and daily deaths would peak at fewer than 1,400.
Larger context: Worldwide, the model predicts that 2,488,346 people will die of coronavirus by February 1. The model shows that by that date, more than three quarters of a million lives would be saved if 95% of people around the world wore masks.