And by February 13, that number could reach 508,000, according to an ensemble forecast published by the CDC. The last forecast, on January 13, projected up to 477,000 deaths by February 6.
In the meantime, vaccines have begun to be distributed, but there remain significant challenges with the supply across the country, according to state officials.
New CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky on Wednesday described the toll of the pandemic as “truly heartbreaking” but that “healthier days lie ahead” — although that getting there would require a rapid acceleration of testing, surveillance and vaccination.
She said the agency will be conducting a review of all of its guidance regarding the pandemic, so “people can make decisions and take action based upon the best available evidence.”
“We still have a lot of spread and a lot of burden from that spread on our health care systems and a lot of death from the disease. We still have a lot of work to do,” Freeman said.
California deaths and severity of cases remain high
Most coronavirus metrics have been improving in California, an epicenter of the virus in the US. But the severity of cases in the state and the death toll remain high.
California added 22,403 new cases Wednesday, which is well below the average daily number for the state of 38,000.
But it also reported 694 new Covid-19-related deaths Wednesday, the second-highest single-day toll to date. The previous high of 708 was recorded nearly two weeks ago.
In Los Angeles, the rate of death among hospitalized Covid-19 patients has nearly…
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