Model: Social distancing working
Oregonians are slowing the spread of the novel coronavirus, state officials announced Wednesday.
"The most recent data suggest that current social distancing measures could cut transmission rates between 50%-70% if Oregonians maintain these limitations on virus-spreading interactions into early May," the Oregon Health Authority said in a news release.
Newly released modeling by the Institute for Disease Modeling in Bellevue, Wash., indicated "strong evidence that measures currently in place in Oregon are reducing transmission." However, the researchers wrote, "Due to the delay between infection and diagnosis, there is considerable uncertainty in the impact of the most recent intervention, the March 23rd 'stay-at-home' order" issued by Gov. Kate Brown.
The researchers estimated that Oregon had slightly more current infections than previously known. Legislators and media representatives have asked OHA to disclose the number of current cases, not just the cumulative totals since January, as well as how many individuals have recovered.
The modeling goes through May 2. Under Oregon's current social distancing restrictions, the modeling suggests 200 to 1,200 people would be actively infected on May 2. The cumulative total since Jan. 24 would exceed 4,000 confirmed cases, more than five times the number reported so far.
If the state were to allow non-essential businesses to reopen but kept schools closed, as many as 3,500 Oregonians would be actively infected on May 2.
"We know coronavirus has brought painful disruption and distress for Oregonians. However, these numbers tell us that what we're doing can work," Dr. Dean Sidelinger, state health officer, said in the news release.