What's Next After Signs Of Social Distancing Start To Work?


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Good news: we have encouraging signs that social distancing is working.

Bad news: it doesn't mean we're going to be lifting social distancing guidelines.

Even though cities are experiencing horrible death rates, the curve is starting to flatten, especially in cities who tightened their lockdowns early on.

“Go harsh in the beginning,” advises Yves Moreau, a data modeler at the University of Leuven in Belgium. “And then stepwise release measures, to make sure that the epidemic doesn’t take off again.”

Lee Riley, a University of California at Berkeley professor of infectious disease, said aggressive mitigation should continue long after the reproduction number drops below one. How long? “I would say one month after you drive down the R naught to zero,” he said.

Deborah Birx, coronavirus response coordinator for the White House task force, said on NBC’s “Today” on Wednesday, “What’s really important is that people don’t turn early signs of hope into releasing from the 30 days to stop the spread. . . . If people start going out again and socially interacting, we could see an acute second wave really early.”

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