A key model foresees approximately 171,000 more coronavirus related deaths by February 2021, a number that would represent a spike of 78 percent.
The model from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington School of Medicine suggests there will be roughly 389,087 deaths by Feb. 1.
If all Americans use face masks, the model’s best-case scenario projects 314,000 deaths by that date. The model, however, foresees more than 477,000 deaths if mask mandates are eased.
"We expect deaths to stop declining and begin increasing in the next one to two weeks," researchers said, according to CNN. "The winter surge appears to have begun somewhat later than the surge in Europe. Daily deaths will reach over 2,000 a day in January even with many states reimposing mandates before the end of the year."
As of Thursday morning, the United States is now averaging approximately 52,345 new daily cases, an increase of 16 percent from the previous week.
An analysis of COVID-19 data from Johns Hopkins University reveals that 21 states are recording a peak of weekly averages of new cases since the onset of the pandemic, CNN reported.
The states seeing record increases in new cases include Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
Public health experts are warning that rising cases will continue to spike as the weather cools and people move indoors.
Anthony FauciAnthony FauciThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Voting rights week for Democrats (again) Trump-DeSantis tensions ratchet up Overnight Health Care — Biden faces pressure from Democrats on COVID-19 MORE, the government's top infectious disease expert, on Thursday warned that American families should “evaluate the risk-benefit” of having a Thanksgiving gathering with regard to spreading coronavirus.
“We really have to be careful this time, and each individual family evaluate the risk-benefit of doing that, particularly when you have people coming in from out of town who may have been on airplanes, in airports,” Fauci said.
He called the current situation in the U.S. “quite concerning."
"We've really got to double down on the fundamental public health measures that we talk about every single day because they can make a difference," he said.