IHME models show 'second wave' of COVID-19 deaths beginning in US in September

IHME models show 2nd wave of COVID-19 beginning in US in September
Posted at 12:01 PM, Jun 11, 2020

SEATTLE, Wash. – Models show a “second wave” of coronavirus deaths beginning in the United States in September, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation said Thursday.

The IHME has extended its COVID-19 forecasts through Oct. 1 and the institute says they show 169,890 deaths in the US by October 1, with a possible range between 133,201 and 290,222.

IHME says deaths nationwide are predicted to remain fairly level through August and begin to rise again at the end of the month, with a more pronounced increase during September. However, the institute says some states will see the increase earlier due to increased mobility and relaxation of social distancing mandates.

“We’re now able to look ahead and see where states need to begin planning for a second wave of COVID-19,” said IHME Director Dr. Christopher Murray. “We hope to see our model proven wrong by the swift actions governments and individuals take to reduce transmission.”

Based on IHME’s models, these states are estimated to have the highest numbers of deaths by Oct. 1:

· New York: 32,310 (range between 31,754 and 33,241)
· New Jersey: 13,177 (12,881–13,654)
· California: 8,821(7,151–12,254)
· Michigan: 8,771 (7,098–14,743)

IHME says the states with the earliest uptick in deaths, according to current modeling, are Florida, Arizona, Georgia, and Colorado.

“If the US is unable to check the growth in September, we could be facing worsening trends in October, November, and the following months if the pandemic, as we expect, follows pneumonia seasonality,” Dr. Murray said.

According to IHME, increasing travel in some states and the overlap with the flu season are likely to impact hospital demand for services in fall and winter.

The IHME is an independent population health research center at the University of Washington School of Medicine. The institute’s models have been cited by many hospitals and government bodies, including the White House. The institute will continue to forecast four months into the future, updating the timeframe for the forecast at the beginning of each month.

On Wednesday, the U.S. reached a grim milestone in the pandemic. COVID-19 cases in country surpassed 2 million, with more than 113,000 deaths from the illness, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

Although many states are continuing to relax COVID-19 restrictions, it’s still important to take simple measures to prevent the spread of the virus, like washing your hands, keeping your distance from others, and wearing a mask when out in public.

“Based on IHME’s analysis, mask use results in up to 50% reduction in transmission of COVID-19,” the institute said Thursday.

Click here to learn more from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention about preventing the spread of COVID-19.