The 251,000 COVID-19-related death in the US was logged on Wednesday, nearly a year after the world’s first known case of the novel coronavirus spread onto its borders, NBC reported.

An early forecasting model used by the White House in late March estimated between 100,000 to 240,000 American deaths would be linked to the contagious disease – even with the implementation of preventative measures

The figures suggested that some 2.2 million Americans would have died without adherence to mitigation measures, such as social distancing and stay-at-home orders imposed by state and local governments.

While much progress has been made in the realms of developing COVID-19 vaccines and exploring therapeutics, US health officials have sounded the alarm against large gatherings around the Thanksgiving holiday. As a result, states such as Ohio, Washington, California and New Mexico have imposed various stay-at-home orders, curfews and other mitigation measures.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of the White House coronavirus task force, told attendees of a USA Today Editorial Board meeting on Wednesday that seemingly “innocent” dinner parties with “10, 12 people” could easily transform into outbreak clusters for the novel coronavirus.
“You’re going to start seeing these unanticipated infections related to innocent home gatherings, particularly as we head into the holiday season,” he said, noting that colder weather forces people indoors, which raises the likelihood of COVID-19 transmission.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have advised against physically coming together and asserted in a November 10 news release that the “safest way to celebrate” is with those in your household.