New projections forecast hundreds of thousands more Coronavirus deaths by March.By Chris Hoffman

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Coronavirus death toll in the United States is now more than 255,000 and counting.

In the past week, 1,600 people have died, and sadly, it’s going to get a lot worse.

READ MORE: Former Pennsylvania Health Secretary Rachel Levine Becomes First Openly Transgender Four-Star Officer

What else is there to learn from the latest projections from an influential model often cited by the White House?

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington has been producing its model since the pandemic started.

Their latest prediction — 339,000 Coronavirus-related deaths by January 1.

Here in Pennsylvania, they forecast the death toll reaching 14,000, about 5,000 more new deaths this year.

Their forecast stretches out to March 1.

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

READ MORE: Supply Chain Issues: 'There Really Are Problems Everywhere,' Even For Small Companies

The death toll by that point could be 470,000 deaths, with Pennsylvania possibly seeing 22,000 deaths by then.

Their latest forecast assumes that 40 states will re-impose social distancing mandates.

But if those states don’t do that, deaths could skyrocket to 658,000 by March 1.

With the death toll at 255,000 right now, we could see 403,000 deaths in the next four months if nothing is done.

Health experts continue to stress the importance of wearing masks, and the IHME’s forecast is backing that up.

They have found that if everyone wears a mask, 60,000 lives could be saved.

With the daily death toll surging here in Pennsylvania this month, we’re averaging 54 deaths per day, but that’s growing on a regular basis.

MORE NEWS: Overturned Tractor Trailer Crash Leads To Closure Of Inbound Lanes Of Parkway East, Prompts Major Traffic Delays

The Institute is forecasting a daily average death toll of 147 per day, but say that if everyone wears a mask, that number could fall to 91 deaths per day.