Well-Being Prevention & Cures

When will it be safe for your state to reopen during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic?

a playground closed off with orange tape and a sign

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.


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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.


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Here is when the model estimates your state will be able to reopen as of April 24:

 
IHME reopen estimate
Alabama May 19
Alaska May 7
Arizona June 26
Arkansas June 22
California April 18
Colorado May 26
Connecticut June 9
Delaware May 19
District of Columbia June 4
Florida June 14
Georgia June 22
Hawaii May 6
Idaho May 16
Illinois May 19
Indiana May 21
Iowa June 26
Kansas June 21
Kentucky June 14
Louisiana May 23
Maine May 13
Maryland June 4
Massachussetts June 10
Michigan May 20
Minnesota May 31
Mississippi May 29
Missouri June 10
Montana May 6
Nebraska July 3
Nevada May 20
New Hampshire May 16
New Jersey May 27
New Mexico May 24
New York May 27
North Carolina May 11
North Dakota July 19
Ohio May 14
Oklahoma June 17
Oregon May 27
Pennsylvania May 27
Rhode Island June 10
South Carolina June 8
South Dakota June 27
Tennessee May 20
Texas June 8
Utah June 23
Vermont May 10
Virginia June 4
Washington May 28
West Virginia May 8
Wisconsin May 21
Wyoming May 25

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