Interpretation of Forecasts of New and Total Deaths
Current forecasts may not fully account for the emergence and rapid spread of the Omicron variant or changes in reporting during the holidays and should be interpreted with caution.
This week’s national ensemble predicts that the number of newly reported COVID-19 deaths will likely increase over the next 4 weeks, with 10,400 to 31,000 new deaths likely reported in the week ending February 5.
The state- and territory-level ensemble forecasts predict that over the next 4 weeks, the number of newly reported deaths per week will likely increase in 33 jurisdictions, which are indicated in the forecast plots below. Trends in numbers of future reported deaths are uncertain or predicted to remain stable in the other states and territories.
Ensemble forecasts combine diverse independent team forecasts into one forecast. They have been among the most reliable forecasts in performance over time, but even the ensemble forecasts do not reliably predict rapid changes in the trends of reported cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. They should not be relied upon for making decisions about the possibility or timing of rapid changes in trends.
Recent national total death forecasts have shown low reliability, with more reported deaths than expected falling outside the forecast prediction intervals. Therefore, national total death forecasts will continue to be collected and analyzed but will not be summarized until sustained improvements in performance are observed.
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