(ETH) – More than 2,000 American deaths were recorded by Johns Hopkins University on Thursday — the highest number since early May. And as the virus runs unabated across US communities, experts warn the coming weeks will likely be brutal and the pandemic’s death toll will keep climbing.


By December 18, more than 2,300 Americans could be losing their lives daily, according to the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME). “We expect daily deaths to reach a peak of over 2,500 a day in mid-January,” the IHME modeling team wrote on Thursday.


The group also hiked its Covid-19 death forecast considerably, now predicting a total of 471,000 American deaths by March 1 — up more than 30,000 since their last projection about a week ago. Health officials predicted a rise in deaths would follow the surge of new infections and hospitalizations much of the country is now experiencing. On Thursday, the US reported a new high of more than 80,600 hospitalized patients nationwide, according to the COVID Tracking Project. CONTINUE

The people in charge of some of Minnesota’s hospitals are begging families to cooperate with the new rules to fight COVID-19. “We are perilously close to not being able to, even collectively with all of our best efforts and innovative care models, take care of everybody,” said Dr. Peggy Wheeler, the CEO of Allina Health.

Wheeler says 800 staff members can’t work because they either have the virus or were exposed to it. A nurse who works at Allina’s United Hospital in St. Paul called what’s to come to a “doomsday scenario.” Another Allina nurse, Kristin Kleinschmidt, says she’s never seen anything like what’s happening in her 31 years as a nurse.

She says staffing shortages are leading to nurses having to double up on their duties, and she hasn’t been able to help either. Kleinschmidt has been out for two weeks with COVID. “Feels terrible to be at home sick,” Kleinschmidt said. “I got so tired I couldn’t get out of bed, and the next day I couldn’t taste anything.” CONTINUE

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