• Coronavirus deaths are predicted to accelerate soon in one western US state, according to the latest weekly estimate released by the CDC.
  • The CDC’s experts think that Colorado will see an acceleration in coronavirus deaths over the next few weeks.
  • By September 5, the CDC is predicting that the US as a whole may see as many as 30,000 additional coronavirus deaths.

According to Dr. Thomas Frieden, a former director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, COVID-19 is now the third leading cause of death in the US, with coronavirus deaths ahead of accidents, injuries, lung disease, and diabetes.

That’s how he put it in a recent conversation with CNN, adding that the US has averaged more than 1,000 coronavirus deaths per day over the past three weeks. This comes as the latest numbers out of Johns Hopkins University show that more than 5.4 million coronavirus infections have been reported in the US to date, along with more than 170,000 deaths. And the CDC thinks the pandemic is about to get worse, at least from the standpoint of an increase in coronavirus deaths, in one state in particular.

The CDC’s latest weekly estimate offers an updated assessment of the number of deaths that public health officials expect to see from coronavirus in the US over the next several weeks. Breaking things down to the state level, this new assessment singles out Colorado for the CDC’s prediction that coronavirus deaths there will probably start to pick up over the next few weeks, while coronavirus deaths are expected to decline over the same period in places like Arizona, Vermont, and Wyoming.

“This week’s national ensemble forecast predicts that 4,200 to 10,600 new COVID-19 deaths will be reported during the week ending September 5 and that 180,000 to 200,000 total COVID-19 deaths will be reported by that date,” the CDC reports, going on to note that “state- and territory-level ensemble forecasts predict that the number of reported new deaths per week may increase over the next four weeks in Colorado.”

The most current data from the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment, available here, shows that 163 patients are hospitalized right now with coronavirus in Colorado. Overall, the state has recorded almost 1,900 coronavirus deaths. Among the measures being taken in the state to fight the pandemic, Gov. Jared Polis signed an executive order on July 17 that requires everyone to wear a face mask when in public spaces indoors. Meanwhile, bars and nightclubs were required to close to in-person services from June 30.

Wildfires in the area in recent days haven’t helped matters. “This wildfire smoke can actually increase some of the symptoms of COVID-19 and could make you more vulnerable to COVID-19, because the smoke can work to break down your immune system,” Scott Landes, of the Colorado Air Pollution Control Division for the state health department told Denver7 on Thursday.

Andy is a reporter in Memphis who also contributes to outlets like Fast Company and The Guardian. When he’s not writing about technology, he can be found hunched protectively over his burgeoning collection of vinyl, as well as nursing his Whovianism and bingeing on a variety of TV shows you probably don’t like.