Study Says Shutdowns Put in Place Avoided 60 Million More Coronavirus Infections in the US

Samantha Brodsky

States across the country are starting to open up after a few months of stay-at-home orders, and a new study from the University of California, Berkeley, suggests that such safety measures significantly prevented the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Researchers examined six countries - China, the United States, France, Italy, Iran, and South Korea - and estimated how 1,717 policies on the local, regional, and national levels like travel bans, stay-at-home orders, and closures of businesses thwarted the spread of the virus. The results? Those countries managed to avoid 62 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 4.8 million in the US through early April.

Cumulatively, these policies prevented or delayed an estimated 530 million total infections of COVID-19 across those six countries and 60 million in the US alone, as many infections are not formally diagnosed, which was especially true in the beginning of the pandemic. This study used US stats from March 3 to April 6.

"Our results suggest that ongoing anti-contagion policies have already substantially reduced the number of COVID-19 infections observed in the world today. . . . The magnitudes of these impacts partially reflect the timing, intensity, and extent of policy deployment (e.g., how many localities deployed policies), and the duration for which they have been applied," reads an early version of the study, published by Nature.

Without the restrictions put in place by these countries, the Berkeley researchers estimated that the early infection rates of COVID-19 would have grown 43 percent per day on average across the six countries and 34 percent per day in the US. This implies that the number of infected people would have doubled around every two days, the study states.

The US has 1.9 million confirmed COVID-19 cases so far and has surpassed the 100,000 death toll. This study does not estimate how many deaths might have been prevented. However, the researchers noted that their findings may help inform "whether or when these policies should be deployed, intensified, or lifted," adding that "they can support decision-making in the other 180+ countries where COVID-19 has been reported."

According to CNN, Professor Solomon Hsiang, director of the Global Policy Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley, said in a press release, "There have been huge personal costs to staying home and canceling events, but the data show that each day made a profound difference."

Related: If We Get a Second Wave of Coronavirus, Here's When to Expect It - and How to Stay Safe

More From

  • Allyson Felix Wins 150-Meter Sprint in the Physically-Distanced, Virtual Inspiration Games

    Image Source: Getty / Harry How We already know that the 2020 Tokyo Olympics were postponed due to novel coronavirus (COVID-19), and the pandemic has affected sports across the globe. But, on July 9, track and field athletes from around the world competed in the Inspiration Games, a special virtual competition that's part of the Diamond League international circuit.

  • Experts Are Saying There Is Mounting Evidence That Coronavirus Is Airborne

    Whether or not the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is airborne has been debated in recent months and has garnered more attention in the past week after 239 experts signed an open letter arguing that the World Health Organization (WHO) and other public health agencies have not properly recognized the possibility that humans can spread the virus through small droplets called aerosols. Up until recently, WHO maintained that airborne transmission was of risk only when aerosols are dispersed from infected patients during procedures in healthcare settings such as tracheal intubation and bronchoscopy.

  • Hey, Batter, Batter! The Sandlot Cast Virtually Reunited and Reenacted Your Favorite Quotes

    Batter up! The cast of 1993's The Sandlot virtually linked up to take a trip down memory lane on costar Patrick Renna's YouTube series, You're Killing Me With Patrick Renna. The 41-year-old actor - who played Ham Porter - hosted the get-together with Los Angeles Dodgers player Justin Turner and caught up with fellow castmates, including Tom Guiry (Scotty Smalls), Brandon Quintin Adams (Kenny DeNunez), Grant Gelt (Bertram Grover Weeks), Marley Shelton (Wendy Peffercorn), and Wil Horneff (Phillips). In a teaser shared on Thursday, the squad reminisced on some of their most famous lines, such as Renna's "You're killing me, Smalls" and Horneff's "You eat dog crap for breakfast, geek!" The gathering was organized to help benefit the Justin Turner Foundation, which was founded by Turner and his wife, Kourtney. The charity supports youth baseball organizations, as well as homeless veterans and children who are battling illnesses and diseases. Ahead, watch a preview of the reunion, which will premiere on July 15, and then scroll through memorable stills from the film for a dose of nostalgia. Oh, and read up on everything we know about the upcoming Sandlot series - because, yes, that's happening! Related: 20 Pictures From The Sandlot That Will Instantly Transport You to the Summer of 1962

  • Niacinamide Is the Do-It-All Ingredient You Need to Be Using - Here's Why

    Niacinamide - also known as vitamin B3 or nicotinamide - certainly isn't a new or unheard-of skin-care ingredient, though it's recently started getting a ton of buzz in the beauty industry. Much like retinol, it's somewhat of a do-it-all ingredient, and it can help resolve or improve a number of skin issues. According to dermatologist Shari Sperling, DO, niacinamide can help with inflammation, decrease redness in skin, moisturize and hydrate the skin, minimize the appearance of pores, and decrease oil production. Additionally, it's suitable for every skin type and can even be combined with other ingredients, like hyaluronic acid. From moisturizers to serums, there's a good chance you've seen niacinamide lurking in some of your products as of late, but if you haven't yet added it to your routine, read ahead to check out a few trusty skin-care products you can find it in.