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3 million people in the US might have an active COVID-19 infection, experts say

The Washington Post reports that 3 million people have active coronavirus infections.

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Phlebotomist and mobile testing coordinator Leslie Reese shows Salvador Castaneda, left, how much saliva is needed for a COVD-19 test at an Intermountain Healthcare mobile testing site outside of Orem Community Hospital in Orem on Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020.

Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

Experts recently suggested that there are 3 million people in the country right now with an active coronavirus infection, which is higher than the official case count, The Washington Post reports.

What’s going on?

Infectious disease experts recently predicted that there are 3 million people who have the coronavirus and can actively spread it.

  • The estimates projected 3.2 million people had been infected since Election Day. Official case counts have that number at 1.95 million, which would mean half of the infected Americans have not gotten tested yet, according to The Washington Post.
  • “To put the 3 million-plus figure in perspective: It is close to 1 percent of the population,” according to The Washington Post. “It is about equal to the number of public school teachers in the entire country, or the number of truck drivers. If the University of Michigan’s football stadium were packed with a random selection of Americans, about a thousand of them would be contagious right now.”

And here’s the scary thought: That number does not include the infections of “people who caught the virus in recent days and can’t pass it on yet because it is still incubating,” according to The Washington Post,

Key quote:

“It’s bad; it’s really, really bad,” Columbia University epidemiologist Jeffrey Shaman told The Washington Post. “We’re running into Thanksgiving now and that’s only going to make it worse. We’re going to go through a lot of people being infected between now and the end of the year, unfortunately.”

Good news is on the way

It’s not all bad news when it comes to the novel coronavirus. Three updates from today alone suggest help could be on the way.