A team at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is predicting that the total number of weekly COVID-19 deaths could increase to more than 11,000 in the week ending Sept. 25.
That would be up 56% from the U.S. COVID-19 death total of 7,327 for the seven-day period ending Sept. 1, and up 16% from the total of 9,860 that the CDC team predicted, on Aug. 30, for the week ending Sept. 4.
The latest actual weekly death count, and the totals in the forecasts, are much higher than the average of about 1,000 to 5,000 deaths per week for the period from April through July, but not as high as the totals the CDC recorded for the pandemic mortality peaks that occurred around April 2020 and January of this year.
In April 2020, reported COVID-19 mortality peaked at around 15,000 deaths per week.
During the wave that crested earlier this year, mortality peaked at around 25,000 deaths per week.
The ultimate weekly death total for the peak week in the current surge could affect some life insurers’ 2021 life insurance claim forecasts. Many had predicted, based on the low death counts in the second quarter, that the total for all of 2021 could be much lower than the total for 2020. Other life insurers have suggested that resistance to vaccines and the rise of COVID-19 variants could make forecasting 2021 mortality difficult.
The Division of Viral Diseases at the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases creates COVID-19 mortality forecast charts using forecasts from many different government, academic and commercial organizations.
The complete data spreadsheet provides weekly COVID-19 mortality predictions for each state from each forecast supplier, based on factors such as population density and COVID-19 vaccine take-up rates.
The CDC team also combines each separate prediction to create “ensemble” predictions for each state and the country.
Most of the forecasts for the country as a whole suggest that COVID-19 mortality rate for the United States as a whole could range somewhere from about the same as what it is now up to a level about three times as high as the current mortality rate.
The latest state data chart, based on forecasts available Aug. 30, indicates that the percentage change in the number of weekly COVID-19 deaths could range from a decrease of 8.3%, in Rhode Island, to an increase of 100% or more in two states.
The median change could be an increase of about 21%. The median is much higher than the 16% average, national forecast increase because many of the states where the number of deaths is expected to increase rapidly have relatively small populations.
For a look at the forecast data for all 50 states and the District of Columbia, see the table below.
For a look at the 10 states where, according to the ensemble forecasts, mortality could increase the most between the week ending Sept. 4 and the week ending Sept. 25, see the slideshow above.
The CDC’s COVID-19 Death Forecast Data
|This chart is drawn from CDC charts that show how many people might die from COVID-19 in each state in the current week and the week ending Sept. 25. The CDC bases estimates on predictions from many different forecasters. The CDC includes separate figures for each forecaster, and it also includes combined, “ensemble” figures. The figures here are the ensemble figures.|
|Predicted COVID-19 Deaths (week ending Sept. 4)||Predicted COVID-19 Deaths (week ending Sept. 25)||Predicted Change in Number of COVID-19 Deaths (in %)|
|District of Columbia||6||7||16.7%|
|Source: “COVID-19 Forecasts: Deaths”|