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New model suggests social distancing measures may need to stay in place through May

Researchers from North Carolina released a new model today that suggests North Carolina may need to continue current social distancing measures through the end of May.

The model considers two scenarios for the state moving forward:

  1. Maintain social distancing (and presumed adherence) beyond the current stay at home order which expires at the end of April.
  2. Lift the current social distancing measures at the end of April.

The first exhibit in the report shows the likelihood of exceeding acute care bed capacity under each scenario:

The red line indicates the probability of exceeding acute care bed capacity if the state lifts social distancing mandates at the end of the current stay-at-home order. Similarly, the blue line indicates the probability of exceeding acute care bed capacity if social distancing mandates continue throughout the month of May.

The report also provides an exhibit showing the likelihood of the state exceeding ICU bed capacity under each scenario:

This model was released as the national models from researchers at Washington University’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation’s (IHME) show a much more optimistic trajectory for North Carolina. Here is a screengrab from the website this morning:

For comparison, here is what the IHME website showed on April 1st for North Carolina’s trajectory:

 

Jordan Roberts / Health Policy Analyst

Jordan joined the Locke Foundation in the summer of 2018 as Health Care Policy Analyst. He analyzes state and national health policy issues with an eye toward removing governm...

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