Drexel study: 45-day shutdown saved 6,202 lives, kept 57,072 out of hospital

UNIVERSITY CITY (WPVI) -- After more than 6 weeks of closed schools and businesses, and staying at home, some people are wondering whether it's been worth it.

A new Drexel University study says it has paid off.

Drexel's experts from Urban Health Collaborative and the Big Cities Health Coalition used real-life numbers to estimate how many lives were saved, and how many hospitalizations didn't happen in 30 cities around the country

For Philadelphia, it estimates that 45 days of being shut down, and doing social distancing spared 62-hundred lives, and kept 57-thousand people out of hospitals than if life went on as usual.

There were sizable results in other cities - in Baltimore, the model estimates nearly 23-hundred fewer deaths.

In Dallas, 10-thousand lives saved, while in New York City, 25-thousand lives may have been saved by changing our behavior.

"All of the many sacrifices they're making by staying home are not in vain, that it actually has this impact that affects all of us," says Amy Carroll-Scott, Ph.D., M.P.H., co-leader of the project, and associate professor at the Dornsife School of Public Health.

"It's important for policymakers to see that these stay-at-home orders, and social distancing measures are really important, and that if we lift them too soon, we're likely to see another spike, and that we need to be monitoring those new cases, and hospitalizations and lives saved as we inch closer to re-opening," said Caroll-Scott.

The researchers say 60-day shutdowns save even more people.

They'll continue to watch, and develop new projections as Philadelphians and those in other cities become more active.
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