Doctor says he predicts Florida’s COVID death toll to double by December

Updated: Aug. 14, 2020 at 6:04 PM EDT
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Experts with the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation believe the coronavirus death toll for the state of Florida is expected to more than double by December.

Dr. Ali Mokdad at the University of Washington is analyzing all the latest data related to COVID-19 and he’s projecting the death toll will more than double in the state. That prediction is taking multiple things into consideration, including the start of school. He spoke with ABC7′s Rebecca Vargas to talk about his predictions.

“Right now, we’re projecting by Dec. 1, 19,358 deaths in Florida,” Dr. Mokdad.

This week, the Florida Department of Education announced that based on available data collected from school district surveys, more than half of Florida families are demanding in-person education. That means about 1.57 million students are expected to come back to brick and mortar institutions in the fall.

ABC7 asked Mokdad about herd immunity and what that would need to look like to be successful.

”Herd immunity means 70, 80, 90 percent of us are infected and have the antibodies and are protected. If you look at what’s happening in the United States, as a country we’re around less than 10 percent,” Mokdad explained.

The state of Florida is currently at 8 percent. Back in April, Dr. Mokdad predicted that Florida would hit 7,000 deaths. As of Aug. 14, the state has already scene more than 9,000 coronavirus related deaths.

“Unfortunately, Florida opened for business prematurely and we’ve seen a rise in infection and now a rise in mortality,” Mokdad told ABC7.

As long as there are cases, Dr. Mokdad says that each person must take action to prevent the spread of the virus.

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