Among detected cases of COVID-19 in the United States, 1.3% of patients will die from the illness, according to a new calculation. But that rate could increase if current precautions and health care capacities change, the study's author said. The 1.3% rate calculation is based on cumulative deaths and detected cases across the United States, but it does not account for undetected cases, where a person is infected but shows few or no symptoms, according to researcher Anirban Basu. If those cases were added into the equation, the overall death rate might drop closer to 1%, Basu said. He directs the department of pharmacy at the University of Washington in Seattle. Basu stressed that the current estimates apply "under the assumption that the current supply [as of April 20] of health care services, including hospital beds, ventilators, and access to health care providers, would continue in the future." Declines in the availability of health care services could increase COVID-19 death rates. Most crucially, social distancing and other preventive measures will help keep the U.S. COVID-19 death rate down, Basu said. Accordingly, recent White House COVID-19 Taskforce projections of 100,000 to 200,000 deaths this year from COVID-19 are made with assumptions about the effectiveness of measures that are currently in place, he said. Many states are already moving to relax restrictions on "shelter in place" rules, with businesses, beaches and parks reopening.