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Deaths in the U.S. from the novel coronavirus are predicted to reach more than 230,000 by November, according to a new projection published Friday.
The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington estimates 230,822 fatalities from COVID-19 by Nov. 1 — nearly 11,000 more than it projected on July 22.
The projections make a number of assumptions, including that use of face masks continues at currently observed rates, that the gradual easing of social distancing mandates continues and that mandates will be reimposed for six weeks if daily deaths reach eight per million.
The IHME had increased its death projections earlier this month, just as more states were moving deeper into their plans for reopening after months of lockdowns and social distancing measures. More states have also mandated the use of face masks when social distancing is not possible.
“We can now see the projected trajectory of the epidemic into the fall, and many states are expected to experience significant increases in cases and deaths in September and October,” said IHME Director Dr. Christopher Murray.
The institution also claimed that if 95 percent of Americans wore masks when leaving their homes, the number of projected fatalities would drop by more than 40,000.
“We all have come to recognize, wearing masks can substantially reduce transmission of the virus,” Murray added. “Mask mandates delay the need for re-imposing closures of businesses and have huge economic benefits. Moreover, those who refuse masks are putting their lives, their families, their friends, and their communities at risk.”
The data was released hours before National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci and Centers for Disease Control Director Dr. Robert Redfield were to testify before the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis on the need for a national coronavirus strategy.
As of Friday, the U.S. had more than 4,495,000 confirmed cases and 152,075 deaths attributed to the virus, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Fox News’ John Roberts and David Aaro contributed to this report.