New research from Columbia University suggests thousands of COVID-19 deaths could’ve been prevented in the United States if officials acted faster with social distancing policies.
Columbia University researchers found that if social distancing started two weeks earlier then 84% of deaths and 82% of cases could have been averted.
Jeffrey Shaman, the research team’s leader, explained what could’ve happened with measures in place one week sooner.
“Our estimates are that a majority of deaths would have been prevented. Just over 50% of them would have been reduced for the total numbers that we see by May 3, if we had acted just a week earlier.”Jeffrey Shaman, Epidemiologist
The team looked at transmission rates from mid-March through the beginning of May.
They say as states reopen, leaders should respond quickly if they detect a growth in new cases.