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You are here News Health Half a million deaths by the end of February? Current COVID-19 strategies have the US headed in that direction, experts say

Half a million deaths by the end of February? Current COVID-19 strategies have the US headed in that direction, experts say

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Covid deaths to reach 500,000

The nation’s patchwork of differing COVID-19 mandates and the inconsistent use of masks to prevent virus spread could lead to the cumulative loss of more than half a million lives by the end of February, scientists say.

Researchers from the University of Washington's School of Medicine predicted that current state strategies surrounding social distancing, phased reopenings and mask mandates could lead to 511,373 deaths by Feb. 28, 2021, according to a study published Friday in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Medicine.

However, scientists also predicted nearly 130,000 lives could be saved from the end of September through the end of February if at least 95% of the population wore masks in public. If only 85% wore masks, still nearly 96,000 deaths could be prevented.

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