Coronavirus model projects U.S. death toll could hit 300,000 by December

Model projects 300,000 U.S. virus deaths by December
Model projects 300,000 U.S. virus deaths by D... 04:22

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on Thursday continued his push to not only resume classes on campus but also to start youth sports again, something other states have delayed. 

This comes as a staggering and sobering projection shows the coronavirus pandemic is only getting worse in the U.S. A research model used regularly by the White House suggests that the death toll in America could hit almost 300,000 in the next four months.

That's close to double the number of people who have already died nationwide since the outbreak began. Researchers say tens of thousands of lives could be saved if everyone in the U.S. wore masks.

Nowhere in the U.S. is that life and death struggle more obvious than on the Texas border where doctors say they are desperate for help and hospital beds.

In Texas' hard-hit Rio Grande Valley, medical professionals are still seeing a stream of COVID-19 patients, painstakingly turning them onto their stomachs to help them breathe.

Meanwhile, parents and school districts face the difficult decision about whether to send students back to classrooms or teach them remotely this fall. In some areas, dozens of students and staff have been quarantined due to new infections.

Amy Westmoreland resigned from her job as a school nurse in Paulding County, Georgia. "I read that masks would be a personal choice," she explained. "I was infuriated, honestly, and I knew that I wouldn't be safe and the kids wouldn't be safe."

She told CBS News that she saw scenes of crowded hallways and few people wearing masks. "I was angry, I was heartsick," Westmoreland said. "They were so close to each other."

Things got heated at one school board meeting in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, after concerned parents noticed a member looking at her phone. The room erupted into chants. The meeting was shut down.

But, parents like single mom Adriana Alvarez of Chicago said not having schools reopen with in-person teaching could also mean losing their livelihoods.

"It's just me and him. And if I stop working, we both stop eating, so I'm literally stuck," she said.

There's also renewed concern over the nation's nursing homes. Officials say 19 people have died so far at a nursing home in Missouri City, Texas, near Houston.

LA to cut utilities to homes hosting large ga... 03:20

In Los Angeles, new efforts to curb the spread include shutting off utilities at homes used for large parties.

But there are glimmers of hope — and reminders of how long this pandemic has impacted peoples' lives.

Patients at Blythedale Children's Hospital in New York are seeing their family members face to face for the first time in nearly four months.