The national mortality estimate also assumes that full social distancing measures will remain in place nationwide through May 2020. That may come as a bit of a shock to many Americans who currently expect the nation’s radical shutdown to ease at the end of April.
In the West Coast states that saw the earliest outbreaks—California, Washington, and Oregon—quick action by state government leaders and early shutdown orders seem to be working. On April 1, the IHME model predicted 1,545 total COVID-19 deaths in Washington state by June 1. But only five days later, on April 6, the same model reduced that mortality estimate to 977. That’s a savings, in theory, of 568 lives. By April 13, the Washington state estimate had been reduced further, to 855.