Californians can circle May 18th, but use a pencil.
The University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics says some states may be able to relax some aspects of social distancing measures so long as “robust containment strategies” are implemented to prevent a second wave of infections.
Some states could start relaxing the first week of May while others need to wait until June or July, the institute said.
According to the newly released data, “(California) after May 18, 2020, relaxing social distancing may be possible with containment strategies that include testing, contact tracing, isolation, and limiting gathering size.”
To save you from flipping ahead on whatever calendar you use, May 18th is a Monday and is one week before Memorial Day.
The projected dates when shifting from social distancing to new strategies could be safe are based on IHME’s estimates of when infections drop below 1 per 1 million people. Minimizing the risk of resurgence will be more likely if the remaining community infections are at a low level.
The Early May States
Vermont, West Virginia, Montana, and Hawaii might be able to throttle their restrictions back to May 4.
“Each state is different,” said IHME Director Christopher Murray. “Each state has a different public health system, and different capabilities. This is not a ‘one decision fits all’ situation.”
States That Might Have to Wait
Iowa, North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Utah, Arkansas, and Oklahoma, may need to wait until late June or early July.
Murray says, “Now, the challenge – as well as opportunity – is for states to figure out how to reopen the U.S. economy and allow people to get back to work without sacrificing that progress. Relaxing social distancing too soon carries great risks of a resurgence of new infections. No one wants to see this vicious cycle repeating itself.”
United States Deaths May Have Peaked
IHME also announced that the number of daily COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. may have peaked two days ago, April 15, with 2,481 deaths.
The Institute now is estimating 60,308 (estimated range of 34,063 to 140,381) deaths across the country by Aug. 4 — down from the 68,841 predicted on April 13.