WASHINGTON 

Up to 140,000 Americans may lose their lives to COVID-19 by July 4, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned in their latest projection Friday. 

The latest modeling from the health authority projects virus-related deaths to hover between 124,000 and 140,000 by the day on which Americans will celebrate their Independence Day.

It made specific reference to Arizona, Arkansas, Hawaii, North Carolina, Utah, and Vermont, saying that in those states the number of deaths over the next month will likely exceed the number seen in the prior four weeks.

Dr. Jay Butler, the CDC’s COVID-19 Response Incident Manager, stressed that as Americans seek a long-sought return to normalcy “the pandemic is not over,” saying that while the number of daily cases has hit a plateau, as communities ease virus-related restrictions they are seeing “different levels of transmission.”

“I know it’s difficult to make changes to our daily lives,” he said on a conference call with reporters. “We’re not out of the woods yet. In the coming weeks we could see increases in the number of cases of COVID-19 as states reopen, and as there’s an increase in public gatherings as we move into the summer.”

Still, he said it is “too soon” to determine if that will happen.

Over a dozen states, including Texas, California and Arizona, have seen rising numbers of coronavirus-related hospitalizations and cases.

The US has remained the country with the highest number of infections and virus-related deaths worldwide.

In all, over two million people have tested positive for COVID-19, while over 114,000 victims have died, according to data being compiled by Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. Over half-a-million have recovered.

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