UK professors study impact of social distancing

Published: Apr. 29, 2020 at 6:34 PM EDT
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A new study has put into numbers just how well social distancing measure are working.

A group of professors at the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville released a report saying that by April 25th, if the governor had not issued any restrictions, Kentucky would have had 10 times the number of severe cases of COVID-19 and about 2,000 more deaths.

The study focused on regions in the south and midwest, finding that stricter social distancing, stay-at-home measures and the closing of in-door dining had a substantial impact on the growth of cases.

And while economics professor Aaron Yelowitz understands the strain on the economy, he fears we may be easing restrictions too soon.

"You're likely to see cases rise up again, and there's a concern that if the cases did rise up again would people adhere to guidelines if we had to then lock down again, so those are some of the costly considerations that one needs to go through in terms of thinking about all of this," Yelowitz said.

Yelowitz believes Kentucky doesn't yet have the testing infrastructure we would need to open up safely. He says it would be beneficial to wait an learn from neighboring states who have already started reopening non-essential businesses.