CDC forecast shows nearly 20,000 more Americans could die of COVID-19 by Aug. 22

A new ensemble forecast by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States estimates that new U.S. deaths attributed to the novel coronavirus could increase to 11,000 people per week by Aug. 22.

The CDC forecast shows that total U.S. deaths from COVID-19 could reach 173,000 by Aug. 22 — with a possible range between 168,000 to 182,000. More than 155,000 people have died from COVID-19, according to Aug. 3 data by Johns Hopkins University.

A worker passes testing bags to a passenger at a drive-in COVID-19 testing center at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science amid the coronavirus pandemic on July 31, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

The CDC forecast uses predictions from 32 different groups about the U.S. COVID-19 death toll over the next four weeks.

The U.S. reported just over 9,000 new COVID-19 deaths during the week of July 26 and Aug. 2, according to data compiled by the New York Times.

At the state level, the forecast predicts that new coronavirus deaths could increase during the next four weeks in Alabama, Kentucky, New Jersey, Tennessee and Washington — as well as in Puerto Rico.

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The forecasts “predict the total number of COVID-19 deaths reported by the end of each week, which helps us understand the likely overall impact of the pandemic in the coming weeks," the CDC wrote.

Many of the models assume that existing mitigation strategies, including physical distancing and wearing face masks, will continue in the coming weeks. Ten of the models assume that the level of social distancing will change in the future, impacting the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths.

The forecast includes models created by Carnegie Mellon University, Columbia University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Johns Hopkins University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and more.

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The previous ensemble forecast, which was published July 23, predicted roughly 164,000 virus deaths by Aug. 15.


New cases began surging in June after many U.S. states reopened their economies, resulting in some governors pausing reopening plans or closing certain businesses once again.

Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus task force coordinator, said Aug. 2 that the virus was “extraordinarily widespread” in the U.S. and infections in urban and rural America marked a “new phase” for the pandemic in the country.

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This story was reported from Cincinnati. The Associated Press contributed.