University of Michigan research shows Whitmer's tough coronavirus measures saved lives


Governor Gretchen Whitmer. - STATE OF MICHIGAN
  • State of Michigan
  • Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

On Wednesday, Governor Gretchen Whitmer delivered her third State of the State address, touting her administration's success in "flattening the curve" of coronavirus cases in Michigan. That included a "Pause to Save Lives" issued on Nov. 15, a painful blow to industries ordered to close, including bars and restaurants.

But was the pause successful in saving lives? According to preliminary research from the University of Michigan School of Public Health, yes.

"Our modeling suggests that the state’s social distancing measures, although challenging for Michiganders, prevented illness and deaths, providing some relief to our already stretched health care system," said associate professor Marisa Eisenberg.

Using U-M COVID-19 modeling data, researchers compared coronavirus cases and public health measures following the "Pause to Save Lives." The modeling estimated that between Nov. 15 and Jan. 8, about 109,000 COVID-19 cases were prevented. Accounting for Michigan's 2.6% rate of fatality, that means 2,800 lives were saved.

  • University of Michigan

The researchers also compared Michigan's results to other Midwestern states, finding that states with higher average "government response index" fared better at containing virus. Michigan had the lowest case count among Midwestern states over the holiday season, while Indiana, which had the lowest government response index, had the highest case count.

"Michiganders have been doing their part in terms of maintaining social distancing and staying home, and those efforts have prevented illnesses and deaths across the state," Eisenberg said.

You can read more at U-M.

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