U.S. Covid Deaths Expected to Rise Soon With New Wave Emerging
(Bloomberg) -- Covid-19 deaths in the U.S. are expected to bottom out in the next two weeks and then may inch higher as the nation races to blunt an incipient new wave of cases with its vaccination campaign.
A plateau or small increase -- instead of the hoped-for decline -- could mean tens of thousands of additional fatalities.
The deaths are likely to dip to 6,028 in the week ending April 10 before slightly increasing, according to the Covid-19 Forecast Hub, a project from the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s Reich Lab. Its so-called ensemble forecast, which was updated Tuesday, is based on dozens of independent models and projects fatalities four weeks into the future.
Confirmed and suspected Covid-19 hospitalizations are rising again in half the country, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has warned that the country may be entering a fourth wave of the pandemic.
Public-health experts had hoped that vaccinations would mean a steady decline in deaths through the summer, but the best-case scenario isn’t coming to pass. A plateau around 1,000 deaths a day translates into some 30,000 deaths a month -- and many more by Independence Day, when President Joe Biden has said the country may return to a semblance of normality.
Still, the targeted vaccination of nearly three-quarters of the 65-and-over community should prevent a death surge of the magnitude the U.S. saw in prior waves. U.S. seniors account for 4 in 5 Covid-19 deaths, and at least 73% of the elderly have had one or more dose.
- The U.S. posted 68,566 new cases on Monday, pushing the seven-day average to 66,182, the highest since March 1, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
- The seven-day average is up 24% from a week earlier, the biggest such increase since Jan. 8.
- The nation posted 668 deaths, bringing the seven-day average slightly higher to 1,016, the data show.
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