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COVID-19 deaths in US projected to exceed 115,000 by June 20, according to CDC

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that the number of coronavirus deaths in the United States is now projected to exceed 115,000 by June 20. 

The projection was made using data gathered from 15 national forecasts this week, with the death rate varying among states. The forecasts themselves came from organizations such as Johns Hopkins University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and UCLA. The numbers were dependent on assumptions made regarding social distancing measures in the future.

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"This week’s national ensemble forecast indicates that the rate of increase in cumulative COVID-19 deaths is continuing to decline," the CDC said. "Nevertheless, total COVID-19 deaths are likely to exceed 115,000 by June 20."

The CDC’s announcement came just a day after the number of coronavirus deaths in the United States surpassed 100,000. Across the world, there were nearly 6 million confirmed cases and 358,000 deaths, based on data from Johns Hopkins University. The U.S. leads the world in both confirmed cases and deaths by a significant margin, with cases approaching 2 million as of May 28.

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Dr. Anthony Fauci, widely considered to be the leading health expert on the COVID-19 pandemic, spoke this week on the need of continuing to follow health and safety procedures — such as social distancing, washing one’s hands and wearing a mask — even as cities and states continue to reopen.

How or when a city or state is able to reopen has largely been left up to the discretion of appointed government and health leaders within those respective regions. For example, casinos in Nevada plan to reopen starting June 4 under certain health guidelines. In California, many beaches in the southern part of the state are now open, while restaurants can reopen for dine-in service dependent on if their counties have met certain COVID-19 prevention thresholds. 

“It is important to bring these forecasts together to help understand how they compare with each other and how much uncertainty there is about what may happen in the upcoming four weeks,” the CDC said.