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Protesters opposing the California stay-at-home orders in May. Photo: Stanton Sharpe/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

As many as 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: Lockdown restrictions have largely been lifted, but the coronavirus pandemic keeps getting worse all across the country. 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.

The big picture: Several cities and states like Florida, Texas and Arizona that have seen soaring rates of infections and rising deaths have paused their reopening plans.

  • "Any state that is having a serious problem, that state should seriously look at shutting down. It's not for me to say because each state is different," top infectious diseases expert Anthony Fauci said Wednesday.

Go deeper

Oct 17, 2020 - Health

Over 1,000 current and ex-CDC officers decry the "politicization" of the agency

President Trump calls on reporters during a news conference with White House coronavirus coordinator Deborah Birx and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

More than 1,000 current and former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention epidemic intelligence officers have signed an open letter, decrying "the ominous politicization" of the agency throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

Why it matters: The CDC is typically at the forefront of the U.S. response to public health crises, but the agency has largely been sidelined during the COVID-19 outbreak, with the White House attempting to control messaging, which, at times, contradicts scientific evidence.

Updated 12 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Pfizer and Moderna boosters overwhelmingly prevent Omicron hospitalizations, CDC finds — Omicron pushes COVID deaths toward 2,000 per day — The pandemic-proof health care giant.
  2. Vaccines: The case for Operation Warp Speed 2.0 — Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America.
  3. Politics: Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies — Federal judge blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for federal workers.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults.
  5. Variant tracker
Oct 16, 2020 - Health

Davidson freezes college tuition because of COVID-19

Davidson, the private college in North Carolina, will freeze tuition and fees next year in response to the coronavirus pandemic, President Carol Quillen told students via email.

Why it matters: It's the school's first freeze in 25 years. Davidson has need-blind admission and costs just over $70,000 a year (the school's average financial aid package is roughly $49,000 a year).