A new model from Columbia University suggests that almost 36,000 Americans would have been spared if strict social distancing measures had been enforced nationwide just one week earlier than they were.
THURSDAY, May 21, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly 36,000 American lives would have been spared if strict social distancing measures had been enacted across the country just one week earlier than they were, new estimates suggest.
And if those measures had been imposed two weeks before most people started staying home, about 54,000 COVID-19 deaths would have been avoided by early May, Columbia University disease models show, The New York Times reported. The U.S. coronavirus death toll stretched past 93,000 on Thursday, with more than 1.5 million cases.
"It's a big, big difference," Jeffrey Shaman, an epidemiologist at Columbia and leader of the modeling team, told Times. "That small moment in time, catching it in that growth phase, is incredibly critical in reducing the number of deaths."