US coronavirus death rates expected to hit all-time high

Death toll in U.S. reached over 21,000 as of April 12

The United States continues to hold the highest number of COVID-19 case counts, tripling the numbers in Spain. As of April 12, there are 555,313 confirmed cases and 22,020 deaths in the U.S., according to the Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE).

The daily death toll in the country reached a record of 1,973 on April 8, according to the Johns Hopkins CSSE. However, researchers in the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington anticipated the peak of deaths around April 11. 

On a positive note, there was a drastic decrease in the U.S. death projections than originally anticipated. Around two weeks from the publishing date, the IHME estimated more than 90,000 deaths in the U.S. by August 4 but lowered the numbers to 60,415 deaths on April 8. 

Projected number of deaths in the U.S. up to August, according to Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering and Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.
(Sarah Han | The Poly Post)

However, the outbreak is expected to get worse before getting any better. During a press briefing on April 4, President Donald Trump said the nation is expecting one of the deadliest weeks to come. Dr. Deborah Birx, the coordinator of the White House coronavirus task force, added that New York, Detroit and Louisiana are currently the three hotspots closely being watched. 

The Department of Health and Human Services has been working on developing a vaccine for the virus, which Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, said can possibly be released for public use in about 12 to 18 months. 

For now, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will expedite blood-related therapies for patients in critical condition. The agency will use blood plasma of recovered patients to treat infected patients, stated FDA Commissioner Stephen M. Hahn in a press release on April 3. 

In California, there are 21,794 confirmed cases and 651 deaths as of April 11, according to the California Department of Public Health. While state officials expect the peak to arrive during mid-May, Gov. Gavin Newsom has been hopeful of California’s progression.

Newsom said during a press briefing on April 9 that there are now 1,132 patients in Intensive Care Unit beds – a 1.9% drop from the previous day. 

“I caution anybody to read too much into that one point of data, but nonetheless, it is encouraging,” Newsom said. “It reinforces the incredible work that all of you are doing to practice physical distancing.” 

(Sarah Han | The Poly Post)

In Los Angeles, there are 9,192 confirmed cases and 296 deaths as of April 12, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. 

During a press conference on April 6, L.A. County Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer urged residents to stay home for the week, which she described as being critical in combating the spread of the virus. 

“If you have enough supplies in your home, this would be the week to skip shopping altogether,” Ferrer said. 

In addition to the recommendation by the state to wear face coverings in public, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti has extended protection for non-medical essential workers by requiring face coverings to be worn during work hours. Employers are required to supply face coverings for their employees, while customers who visit these essential businesses are to wear protection as well as of April 10.

As of April 8, two new testing sites have opened in Pasadena and the South L.A. area. L.A. residents experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 are highly encouraged to schedule an appointment for testing at one of the 21 sites. 

To book an appointment or to learn more about eligibility, visit coronavirus.lacity.org/testing.  

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