Experts warn Labor Day will determine COVID-19 trajectory as model predicts ...

Health experts are warning that behaviors this Labor Day weekend will determine if there will be a COVID-19 spike in the fall - as a new forecast model is predicting that more than 410,000 Americans could die from COVID-19 by January if people don't continue to wear masks.   

The University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation revised its forecast model on Friday to predict that deaths from COVID-19 will reach 410,000 by the end of the year. 

That figure is more than double the current death toll of 186,800.  The model predicts that deaths could also soar to 3,000 per day in December.

Epidemiologists said that deaths could be reduced by about 30 percent if the majority of Americans wore masks but warned that mask-wearing is already declining across the country. 

The death rate projected by the IHME model, which has been cited by the White House Coronavirus Task Force, would more than triple the current death rate of some 850 per day.  

The University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation revised its forecast model on Friday to predict that deaths from COVID-19 will reach 410,000 by the end of the year. Epidemiologists said that deaths could be reduced by about 30 percent if the majority of Americans wore masks

The University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation revised its forecast model on Friday to predict that deaths from COVID-19 will reach 410,000 by the end of the year. Epidemiologists said that deaths could be reduced by about 30 percent if the majority of Americans wore masks

Deaths have been declining nationally now for more than a month. 

Fatalities related to coronavirus are a lagging indicator and can potentially rise several weeks after new cases start to decline. 

It comes as health experts warned that the Labor Day holiday weekend will likely set the stage for what is to come in the fall amid the ongoing pandemic. 

The US, which has now surpassed 6.15 million infections, has been averaging about 41,000 new COVID-19 cases per day for the past week. 

Cases are now plateauing following an initial sharp decline in late July after surges in Sunbelt states saw average daily rates of 66,000. 

Infections spiked across the US following previous holidays, including Memorial Day and July 4. 

Dr William Schaffner, an infectious disease

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