One coronavirus study worth checking out came out of Drexel University in Philadelphia last week.
The study reports that stay at home measures saved 200,000 lives and helped avoid two million expensive stays in the hospital that might have overwhelmed the health care system beyond repair.
While the study’s number-crunching was confined to bigger cities, some of its findings can be applied to Delaware and more densely populated New Castle County.
The ability to limit the spread of the virus in Philadelphia and perhaps Baltimore helped northern Delaware avoid a severe outbreak.
The worst fears on the health care front did not occur, but the economic price was high, in part because of the ability to spread quickly.
Perhaps the most interesting takeaway from Drexel study’s findings shows the first 45 days of the stay at home order had the greatest impact, with a pronounced drop-off past that time.
Keep in mind that Delaware’s stay at home order had a couple of notable exceptions that included manufacturing and the construction industry, both of which were deemed essential. By contrast, other states shut down one or both of those sectors.
Using the Drexel figures, the argument can be made that a more stringent and shorter stay at home order might have been just as effective as a partial lockdown that dragged on.
Then again, Delaware is still seeing outbreaks, the most serious taking place in a large area of Sussex County, which now has four times the per 10,000 infection rate of New Castle.
Hundreds of people and a federal team have been deployed in a testing, education and contact tracing effort. The news, to date, has been encouraging.
Delaware is now to the stage where it can begin testing in areas outside hotspots. Testing in Dover and Middletown in the coming days will provide a clearer picture.
The Drexel study undoubtedly has its flaws. Still, its findings should be taken into consideration in planning for a second wave or future pandemic. Doug Rainey, chief content officer.