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UW model projects 371,509 U.S. deaths from COVID-19 by January, a decrease from its previous report

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation projects 371,509 deaths in the U.S. by January, that's a decrease from the 410,451 projection earlier this month.

SEATTLE — The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington says it projects 371,509 deaths in the United States by Jan. 1, 2021 if there is no change to the current use of masks and social distancing measures. That's a decrease from the 410,451 projection IHME made on Sept. 3.

The IHME model notes mask use has ticked up slightly in the past three weeks to 48%. But it also projects an additional 96,000 lives could be saved through the end of the year if there was at least 95% mask usage.

The below image is the latest mask use in the U.S.: 

Credit: IHME
A map showing the percentage of people reporting wearing masks in the United States as of Sept. 22, 2020.

To see more maps from the IHME report, click here.

In Washington state, there are currently 85,830 coronavirus cases including 2,100 deaths from the virus as of Saturday, according to the Washington Department of Health.

The U.S. passed 7 million cases of COVID-19 Friday, the first country to hit that mark. That's according to numbers from Johns Hopkins University. There have been more than 203,000 U.S. deaths linked to disease caused by the new coronavirus, also leading the world. 

India has the second-most coronavirus cases with 5.8 million and is quickly moving closer to the U.S. The world's second-most populous nation has seen anywhere between 80,000 and 97,000 cases per day for most of September. It has recorded 92,000 deaths.

Brazil and Russia are the only two other countries with more than 1 million confirmed cases.

The nation’s top infectious disease expert is cautioning people not to let pandemic fatigue weaken efforts to keep the coronavirus from spreading. Dr. Anthony Fauci says that “people are exhausted from being shut down” and some give up on doing things that contain the virus. 

Fauci urges people to remember that “there is an end to this” and “we just have to hang in there a bit” as researchers work on a vaccine. Fauci says that “what we don’t want to have to do is to shut down again” if cases really spike.