The model, from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, had predicted 72,433 deaths as of Monday morning.
The sharp increases in the two models are tied to relaxed social distancing and increased mobility in the US. States across the country — including Florida, Colorado, Indiana, Nebraska and South Carolina — have eased restrictions in an attempt to revive a sputtering economy and calm restless residents.
IHME director Dr. Christopher Murray told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that other factors included states adding presumptive coronavirus deaths to their statistics and the rising number of cases in some meatpacking plants in the country.
He said states have to balance their actions.
“I think the challenge for us all is to figure out what’s the trajectory of relaxing social distancing on a measured pace that will protect us from big increases or even a full-scale resurgence,” he told CNN.
The projections make clear that these reopenings come with fatal risks.
“It’s simple logic,” CNN’s senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen said. “When you tell people, ‘Hey, you can go to bars, you can get your nails done, you can go to a restaurant,’ those numbers are going to go up.”
Ali Mokdad, a professor of Health Metrics Sciences at IHME, told CNN’s John King that there are “several reasons” for the increased projections.
“One of them is increased mobility before the relaxation, premature relaxation, of social distancing,” he said. “We’re adding more presumptive deaths as well, and we’re seeing a lot of outbreaks in the Midwest, for example.”
He said multiple variables impact infections — like heat, testing capacity and population density — but “the most important one is mobility.”
Right now, he said, “we’re seeing an increase in mobility that’s leading to an increase in mortality, unfortunately, in the United States.”
Other reopenings across the US
Among the other reopenings that started Monday:
— In Colorado, offices can reopen at 50% capacity with other guidelines, including allowing 6 feet between employees’ desks and increased cleaning. Still, the state encourages businesses to allow telecommuting when possible.
— In Florida, the first phase of reopening begins. That phase allows non-urgent surgeries, and restaurants can open for outdoor dining with 6 feet between tables and indoor seating at 25% capacity. Shops can reopen at 25% capacity. Other businesses — including bars, gyms and hair salons — will remain closed. Three highly populated counties are not included.
— In Nebraska, most churches, salons and restaurants can reopen.
— In South Carolina, the “work-or-home” order is being made voluntary and restaurants can begin outdoor dining.
— In Vermont, Gov. Phil Scott expects thousands of residents to return to work after an executive order that allows them to operate with new safety rules. Manufacturing, construction and distribution businesses can operate with 10 or fewer employees.
— Stay-at-home orders also expire Monday in Kansas and West Virginia.
The public pressure to ease restrictions is rising even in states with significant outbreaks. This weekend, thousands gathered in California to protest coronavirus restrictions, leading to 32 arrests at the state Capitol.
New York cases declining, but others going up
In some states, the number of coronavirus cases continues to decline, while other areas face challenges.
California is “days, not weeks” away from beginning to lift restrictions to the state’s stay-at-home order, said Gov. Gavin Newsom. But that likely won’t happen across the state. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said he does not think the city will reopen earlier than May 15.
Other parts of California are already reopening. In Northern California, restaurants, salons, spas, tattoo parlors, shopping malls and gyms will all be open to residents of Yuba and Sutter counties.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo reported that the number of intubations in the state hit hardest by coronavirus is down, and the total number of hospitalizations is below 10,000 for the first time since March.
Still, he has expressed frustration with the slow decline in cases, especially compared with how rapidly cases increased initially.
“We’re on the other side of the mountain … (but) the decline from the mountain is not as steep as the incline,” he said.
But the improvement does not mean the nation can let down its guard.
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said numbers in his city are going up, and he is concerned about relaxing restrictions.
“We’re still very much in the beginning days of coronavirus,” Walsh said.
White House Coronavirus Task Force member Dr. Anthony Fauci also warned that lifting measures prematurely could lead to a rebound of the virus that could put the US in the “same boat that we were a few weeks ago.”
People flooded parks and beaches
Amid relaxed restrictions and a heat wave, police had challenges at some outdoor spaces, including a lack of social distancing and limited use of face masks.
Across Miami Beach over the weekend, more than 7,300 warnings were issued for failure to wear a face covering, according to police. More than 470 warnings were issued for failing to social distance, and more than 1,300 people were asked to leave parks after closing.
To solve that, New York City is distributing 7.5 million face coverings at various locations around the city, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Monday morning.
Five million three-ply non-medical masks and 2.5 million cloth face coverings will be distributed wherever social distancing guidelines are enforced, including grocery stores, public parks, and the Staten Island Ferry. The face coverings will also be made available at New York Housing Authority sites and city-provided meal program sites.
CNN’s Cheri Mossburg, Jim Acosta, Nikki Carvajal, Sara Murray, Holly Yan, Jamie Gumbrecht, Laura Donlan, Kristina Sgueglia, Chuck Johnston, Alta D. Spells and Alison Main contributed to this report.