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How Many Lives Social Distancing Saved, According to a Study

How Many Lives Social Distancing Saved, According to a Study

You’re helping flatten the curve

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The onslaught of coronavirus cases has shocked the economy, forced people to distance themselves from loved ones, shut down beloved restaurants and so much more.

In that time, many people across the country were working from home, cooking at home, exercising at home and even having video chat parties from home. A new study now shows how many lives that may have saved in major metros. 

Methodology

Methodology

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The Big Cities Health Coalition (BCHC) used a model from the New York Times to estimate how stay-at-home orders have helped slow the spread of coronavirus in the BCHC member cities. The model predicted that sheltering in place for 45 days had the potential to save 200,000 lives and avoid 2.1 million hospitalizations.

Note that these are estimates. Even the Times explains that the numbers in its models “offer a false precision” because Covid-19 is not understood well enough to make an exact model.

Austin (Travis County), Texas

Austin (Travis County), Texas

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The stay-at-home order for the city of Austin is set to expire on May 30. Essential activities are allowed with proper face coverings, essential businesses are still open and some other businesses have been allowed to reopen. The BCHC study estimated 45,898 hospitalizations may have been avoided and 4,988 lives may have been saved by sheltering in place for 45 days.

Baltimore, Maryland

Baltimore, Maryland

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Maryland is one of the states with the most restrictions. According to the study, a 45-day stay-at-home order in Baltimore had the potential to save 2,287 lives and prevent 21,382 hospitalizations.

Boston, Massachusetts

Boston, Massachusetts

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A 45-day stay-at-home order was estimated to prevent 19,670 hospitalizations and save 2,032 lives in Boston.

Charlotte (Mecklenburg County), North Carolina

Charlotte (Mecklenburg County), North Carolina

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For businesses that can practice working from home, it is still encouraged to do so in North Carolina, a state that has begun a phased reopening of businesses. The BCHC study estimated 40,005 hospitalizations may have been avoided and 4,320 lives spared by 45 days of a stay-at-home order in the county.

Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois

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Illinois, which has been one of the states with the highest number of reported cases, has based its reopening on a five-phase plan. While businesses are waiting to reopen and unemployment claims continue to rise, the study estimated 97,575 hospitalizations may have been avoided and 10,635 lives saved with a 45-day stay-at-home order.

Cleveland, Ohio

Cleveland, Ohio

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In Cleveland, it is estimated by the BCHC study that 13,828 hospitalizations may have been avoided and 1,503 lives saved as a result of following shelter-in-place orders. As of May 14, a new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program was started to help those who were laid off during the pandemic.

Columbus (Franklin County), Ohio

Columbus (Franklin County), Ohio

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Columbus saw different numbers than Cleveland. It was estimated by the study that residents may have avoided 47,441 hospitalizations and saved 5,155 lives by staying home for 45 days.

Dallas County, Texas

Dallas County, Texas

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A 45-day stay-at-home order in Dallas had the potential to avoid 94,954 hospitalizations and save 10,318 lives according to a BCHC study.

Denver, Colorado

Denver, Colorado

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According to one study’s data, Colorado was graded a D for social distancing success. Despite this, the BCHC study estimated Denver may have avoided 26,201 hospitalizations and saved 2,842 lives by following a stay-at-home order.

Detroit, Michigan

Detroit, Michigan

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The BCHC study estimated Detroit may have avoided 24,236 hospitalizations and saved 2,634 lives under its order. Going to the grocery store, ordering takeout and outdoor activities are still OK in Michigan, but other than that, businesses are remaining closed for the time being.

Fort Worth (Tarrant County), Texas

Fort Worth (Tarrant County), Texas

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In Tarrant County, according to the estimates of the BCHC study, 75,751 hospitalizations may have been avoided and 8,215 lives saved under quarantine.

Houston, Texas

Houston, Texas

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While Texas begins to slowly reopen, the governor warns that it is imperative to continue to stop the spread of germs in order to prevent another outbreak. In Houston — the fourth most populated city in the U.S. — the BCHC study estimated the stay-at-home guidelines may have helped avoid 83,784 hospitalizations and 9,086 deaths.

Indianapolis (Marion County), Indiana

Indianapolis (Marion County), Indiana

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Indiana is currently working through reopening phases. Remote work is still encouraged, but retail shops, malls and restaurants will be able to reopen at lower capacities. The BCHC study estimated Marion County residents potentially avoided 34,752 hospitalizations and 3,761 deaths under its stay-at-home order.

Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City, Missouri

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The Show-Me State has been working through its Show-Me-Strong recovery plan since May 4. The BCHC study estimated Kansas City residents may have avoided 17,723 hospitalizations and saved 1,922 lives while following its stay-at-home practices.

Las Vegas (Clark County), Nevada

Las Vegas (Clark County), Nevada

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Phase one of reopening Nevada began on May 9 to help get some of the most affected businesses back up and running. According to the BCHC study, it’s estimated that Clark County residents may have avoided 81,666 hospitalizations and 8,682 deaths by staying home for 45 days.

Long Beach, California

Long Beach, California

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Until May 15, private and public gatherings of groups outside households in Long Beach were prohibited and only essential activities were allowed. Sheltering in place and not being able to visit or even hug loved ones can make it difficult to show them how much you love them, but it paid off. The BCHC study estimated 45 days of staying at home may have avoided 16,838 hospitalizations and saved 1,811 lives.

Los Angeles County, California

Los Angeles County, California

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Like Long Beach, Los Angeles County residents were ordered to shelter in place for a while. The BCHC study estimated that even just 45 days of following a stay-at-home order potentially avoided 362,610 hospitalizations and saved 39,613 lives.

Miami (Dade County), Florida

Miami (Dade County), Florida

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Certain commercial and retail businesses have begun to open up since May 18 in Dade County, but many places are still closed. In all, the BCHC study estimated that staying home for 45 days may have avoided a predicted 97,888 deaths and saved 10,572 lives.

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Minneapolis, Minnesota

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Beginning May 18, Minnesota residents could begin gathering in groups of 10 or fewer while maintaining safe social distancing. If residents take proper precautions and follow proper coronavirus etiquette, they can slowly move into the next stages of opening. In Minneapolis, the BCHC study estimated a 45-day stay at home order may have helped avoid 15,327 hospitalizations and 1,652 deaths.

New York City, New York

New York City, New York

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When the pandemic hit New York, 95,000 healthcare workers from the state and around the country came to help in New York hospitals. Though the state has been ravaged by the effects of the pandemic, New York City residents following shelter-in-place orders, according to the BCHC study, may have helped the city avoid 226,728 hospitalizations and 24,062 deaths.

Oakland (Alameda County), California

Oakland (Alameda County), California

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The BCHC study estimated a 45-day stay-at-home order may have helped the county avoid 60,216 hospitalizations and save 6,441 lives.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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Philadelphia’s “Business Activity and Stay-at-Home Order” is in effect until further notice, according to the city’s website. Not having an end date might make resident anxious, but there are ways to manage coronavirus anxiety. According to the BCHC study, a 45-day stay at home order had the potential to aid the county in avoiding 57,072 hospitalizations and save an estimated 6,202 lives.

Phoenix (Maricopa County), Arizona

Phoenix (Maricopa County), Arizona

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Unemployment numbers have risen dramatically across the country, and in an effort to boost the economy in Arizona while still following safety precautions, the state has begun reopening as of May 15. According to the BCHC study, a 45-day stay-at-home order could possibly helped Maricopa County dwellers avoid 161,603 hospitalizations and 17,263 deaths.

Portland (Multnomah County), Oregon

Portland (Multnomah County), Oregon

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According to the county status chart on Oregon’s website, Multnomah county has not yet applied for reopening. Once it does and is approved, the county can move into the first phase of reopening, which will mean restaurants, bars, personal care services and gyms will be allowed to reopen following social distancing guidelines. According to the BCHC study, a 45-day stay-at-home order may have helped the county avoid 29,286 hospitalizations and save 3,183 lives.

San Antonio (Bexar County), Texas

San Antonio (Bexar County), Texas

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According to the BCHC study, staying home for 45 days in Bexar County may have helped residents avoid a predicted 75,426 hospitalizations and have saved 8,163 lives. As the stay-at-home order continues, take this time to learn some fun new skills.

San Diego County, California

San Diego County, California

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As of May 20, residents of San Diego County could ease into phase two, which means they could begin dining in at restaurants again while maintaining social distancing regulations. According to the BCHC study, a 45-day stay-at-home order may have helped San Diego County avoid 120,579 hospitalizations and save 13,172 lives.

San Francisco, California

San Francisco, California

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According to the BCHC study, a 45-day stay-at-home order may have saved 3,397 lives and avoided 31,761 hospitalizations in San Francisco.

San Jose (Santa Clara County), California

San Jose (Santa Clara County), California

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Even though the state of California announced that some restrictions would be relaxed, the Santa Clara County site states that residents within the county must comply with the county regulations, which is the stricter order. According to the BCHC study, a 45-day shelter-in-place order may have saved Santa Clara County residents 69,453 hospitalizations and 7,429 lives.

Seattle (King County), Washington

Seattle (King County), Washington

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The state of Washington is currently still in phase one of reopening, but some counties within the state have been allowed to begin phase two. The slow phasing is to prevent another uptick in cases and to keep essential workers safe. According to the BCHC study, a 45-day stay-at-home order may have helped county residents avoid a predicted 81,165 hospitalizations and 8,819 deaths.

Washington, DC

Washington, DC

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Virtual meetings and video chats with loved ones will have to continue for those living in Washington, D.C. The city’s stay-at-home order has been extended through June 8, and according to the BCHC study, a 45-day order may have helped residents save 2,719 lives and avoid 25,427 hospitalizations. For a full list of states ranked from the fewest coronavirus restrictions to the most, click here.

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