Social distancing has saved the lives of 10,000 Connecticut residents to date, according to research group DataHaven.
That figure represents more than the number of deaths caused by heart disease and stroke combined each year, the group said.
The estimate of lives saved is based on a methodology designed by Community Information Now at the UTHealth School of Public Health, and utilizes data from a New York Times epidemiological model of COVID-19-related infections and deaths in the United States.
The Times model was used to estimate the projected number of infections and deaths based on various durations of adherence to the restrictions implemented in Connecticut as of March 23: closing of all nonessential businesses, cancellation of nonessential public community gatherings, keeping six feet away from other people and limits on close-contact outdoor recreational activities.
Those estimates were compared with the estimated number of deaths that may have occurred with no social distancing, with the difference between those figures the estimated number of lives saved. Connecticut’s infection and mortality rates were assumed to match those of the United States.
In the month since the strictest social distancing guidelines went into effect, DataHaven estimates that the state has seen 10,000 fewer deaths than were predicted by the Times model.
According to DataHaven’s projections based on New York Times data, extending social distancing by two more weeks would save another 4,000 lives, and extending it by four more weeks would save 6,000 more lives.
“While the coronavirus pandemic is creating significant hardships and poor health outcomes for so many communities across our state, we should also take a moment to congratulate residents for their collective efforts to save so many of their neighbors’ lives,” DataHaven Executive Director Mark Abraham said.