Story at a glance
- The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation estimates that social distancing measures can be relaxed based when infections drop to 1 per 1 million people.
- Some states have already announced their intentions to relax restrictions and reopen their economies.
- Researchers at the IHME are studying what will happen if these measures are lifted too early.
As governors announce steps towards reopening their state economies, a popular computer model suggests this might be a mistake.
The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), a research center at the University of Washington, is releasing estimates for when social distancing measures can be relaxed based on when infections could drop to one per 1 million people. The IHME says the number is a conservative estimate of the number of infections each location could feasibly manage using containment strategies.
“We are providing these projections to help government leaders and public health professionals determine when they could implement containment strategies to prevent a resurgence of COVID-19 in their community,” the IHME said on its website. “We are working to produce scenarios that show what might happen if social distancing measures were lifted before the pandemic is under control, and we will share these projections as soon as our work is complete.”
Even after the infection rate drops to this level, the IHME says it would only be possible to relax social distancing measures if widespread testing, contact tracing, isolation and limitations on mass gathering are in place.
BREAKING NEWS ABOUT CORONAVIRUS IN AMERICA
Here is when the model estimates your state will be able to reopen as of April 24:
IHME reopen estimate
|District of Columbia||June 4|
|New Hampshire||May 16|
|New Jersey||May 27|
|New Mexico||May 24|
|New York||May 27|
|North Carolina||May 11|
|North Dakota||July 19|
|Rhode Island||June 10|
|South Carolina||June 8|
|South Dakota||June 27|
|West Virginia||May 8|
COUNTRIES LED BY WOMEN HAVE FARED BETTER AGAINST THE CORONAVIRUS. WHY?
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CORONAVIRUS