Jul 10, 2020 - Health

Coronavirus lockdowns may have prevented hundreds of thousands of deaths

An illustration of the coronavirus
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Some 250,000 to 370,000 deaths may have been averted between March and May 15 as a result of the statewide stay-at-home orders enacted to mitigate spread of the coronavirus, a study published Thursday in Health Affairs projects.

Why it matters: The U.S. has changed strategies since then. New modeling suggests the outbreaks could lead to more than 200,000 deaths by the end of year.

By the numbers: The daily mortality growth rate decreased 6.1% between March 21 and May 15 within the District of Columbia and the 42 states that implemented shelter-in-place orders.

  • As many as 750,000 to 840,000 COVID-19 hospitalizations were also avoided during the same time period, based on data collected from 19 states.

Yes, but: The study acknowledges shutdowns are an economic burden that may lead to other causes of death, and are not sustainable over extensive periods.

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