Published:  03:49 AM, 22 May 2020

5.4 mn Americans may be infected if social distancing ignored

5.4 mn Americans may be infected if social distancing ignored

Coronavirus infections could reach as high as 5.4 million in the US in the next two months and more than 290,000 Americans could die if social distancing isn't adhered to, according to a COVID-19 forecast model. The ominous forecast came from the University Of Pennsylvania's Wharton School model accounts for all states fully reopening without any social distancing measures.

In comparison, the model predicts nearly 4.3 million cases and 230,000 deaths by July 24 if states reopen but individuals maintain their social distancing efforts.

If states only partially reopen by lifting stay-at-home orders but social distancing measures are still adhered to, the model forecasts 3.1 million infections and 172,000 deaths.

The best case scenario, which would involve each state maintaining lockdown restrictions as of May 17 with social distancing measures still in place, there could still be 2.8 million infections and 157,000 deaths. 

The majority of US states had already lifted COVID-19 lockdown restrictions by mid-May.   

Meanwhile, a separate model from the UMass Influenza Forecasting Center of Excellence is projecting that deaths will surpass 113,000 by mid-June.

--- Daily Mail

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