00:53 GMT29 September 2020
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    A forecasting model by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington predicts that the US COVID-19 death toll will exceed 260,000 by Election Day on November 3.

    The model also predicts more than 317,000 total COVID-19 deaths in the US by December 1. That figure drops to around 250,000 if 95% of Americans wear masks when leaving their homes.

    “We’re seeing a rollercoaster in the United States,” IHME Director Dr. Christopher Murray said in a recent statement.

    “It appears that people are wearing masks and socially distancing more frequently as infections increase, then after a while as infections drop, people let their guard down and stop taking these measures to protect themselves and others – which, of course, leads to more infections. And the potentially deadly cycle starts over again.” 

    The US surpassed 6 million COVID-19 cases as August came to a close. The nation reported more than 35,000 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, according to the latest data by Johns Hopkins University, marking the smallest daily increase since August 23.

    Last week, six US states set new records for weekly case totals: Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota, according to an analysis by USA Today.

    Arthur Reingold, head of the division of epidemiology and biostatistics at the School of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley, believes it is “highly plausible” that new cases will increase in the coming months as schools reopen across the US, the Wall Street Journal reported.

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