US approaches 200,000 coronavirus deaths

The United States is on the verge of surpassing 200,000 coronavirus deaths as experts warned the total could double by year’s end.

Passengers board a Casco Bay Lines ferry bound for Peaks Island in Portland, Maine on July 30, 2020. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)

The news comes as states grapple with opening restaurants, small businesses — and crucially, schools — amid signs that new cases are on the rise in some areas. Fatigue for social distancing, colder weather and continued contention over mask-wearing and reopening may compound COVID-19 cases and deaths as the year goes on.

COVID-19 deaths have outpaced projections made as recently as May, when experts at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at University of Washington predicted about 180,000 deaths by October. Now, their prediction is estimated at around 410,000 deaths by January. The United States reached 100,000 deaths in May.

The US has reported more than 6.7 million cases and 199,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. Globally, there have been more than 30 million cases and more than 950,000 fatalities.