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COVID-19 on Pace to Become 3rd Leading Cause of Death in 2020

COVID-19 on Pace to Become 3rd Leading Cause of Death in 2020

Aug. 24, 2020
The National Safety Council said this number surpasses the total number of preventable and accidental deaths.

The National Safety Council recently announced that the mortality numbers for COVID-19 has already surpassed the total annual number of preventable, accidental deaths in 2018, the most recent year of final data.

The group predicts that COVID-19 will likely be the third leading cause of death in 2020, behind only heart disease and cancer.

It would mark the first time since 2016 that preventable deaths – which include drug overdoses, motor vehicle crashes and falls – would not be the third leading cause of death in the United States.

According to the latest data, the number of confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. now exceeds 170,000, eclipsing the total number of preventable deaths in 2018 (167,127).

Although preliminary, this grim milestone clearly illustrates the scale of the pandemic. In a little more than six months, COVID-19 has claimed more lives than accidental drug overdoses, motor vehicle crashes and falls combined during 2018.

In addition, COVID-19 is having an impact on preventable deaths, with increases in opioid overdose and motor vehicle fatality rates as an indirect consequence of the pandemic.

NSC urges the “U.S. public to stay vigilant and follow public health guidance around facial coverings, physical distancing and proper hygiene. Employers who are reopening traditional work environments must ensure their employees are returning safely. “

The group offers materials for all types of work environments through its SAFER initiative. 

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