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Increased mobility in US to result in more coronavirus cases, deaths: Expert

Published: Updated:

As more US states move to lift coronavirus restrictions, a closely watched model for gauging the disease’s spread continues to raise its estimate for the number of deaths in the US, according to a Reuters voiced report.

For the second time in under a week, the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation revised its forecast which now stands at more than 137,000 deaths by August – roughly 3,000 more than the prior estimate on May 4.

On Sunday, the institute’s director Christopher Murray told CBS news that the reason was simple: More people moving around means more infections.

“What’s driving the change is, simply put, the rise in mobility and that’s the key driver. We’re seeing in some states a 20 percent increase in just 10 days in mobility, and that will translate into more human contact and more transmission,” Murray said.

On why the forecast of deaths continued to be revised on a regular basis, Murray said that the institute is seeing “more cases and deaths than expected in certain places.”

Murray added that some better-than-expected numbers showing declines in certain areas were more than offset by rising numbers in other places.

“Some good-ish news are coming out of New York, New Jersey, and Michigan where the death cases and the death numbers are coming down faster than expected. Some other states where cases and deaths went up more than we expected are Illinois, Arizona, Florida, and California,” Murray said.

The institute also sees a an explosive increase in mobility in several states which it expects will “translate into more cases and deaths in 10 days from now.”

States in which mobility has increased since the easing of the coronavirus lockdown include: Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, and Georgia, according to Murray.

With Reuters