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Central Texas Local News | kcentv.com

Projected US coronavirus death toll doubles to 134,000, including 3,600 Texans

Dr. Peter Hotez says that while we may have seen a peak in Houston, another spike may be on the horizon.

HOUSTON — As states begin to reopen and social distancing guidelines are relaxed, it can be hard to keep up with all the numbers. However, there’s one man in Houston who is: Dr. Peter Hotez with Baylor College of Medicine.

"The models say we need to go into June with social distancing in order to go back into what’s called containment mode," Hotez said.

A new model was released for the first time since states started reopening. It shows the number of coronavirus deaths in the U.S. doubling to 134,475 by August 4. In Texas, the projection is 3,632. That’s all according to researchers at The Institute for Health Metrics at the University of Washington.

Back home in Houston, Hotez said we should expect several peaks.

“We’ve peaked for the first peak but think of it like a walk across the Appalachian trail,” he said.

He thinks we’ll see at least two more, one sometime before November and another one next January. But one of our biggest hurdles, maybe something as simple as returning to the workplace.

“Once people start returning to the workplace, even if it’s in a graded manner that’s where we are going to start seeing a lot of people infected," he said.

In Harris County, the stay home, work safe order was extended to May 20. County officials want people to only leave home to visit the places Gov. Greg Abbott said could be reopened.

RELATED: 'The virus has not left our city' | Houston mayor, experts urge caution as businesses reopen this weekend

RELATED: New data shows Texas is not ready to reopen, expert says

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