Do jurisdictions that issue “stay-at-home” orders have lower rates of COVID-19 infections?

House, Corona, Coronavirus, Virus, Covid-19, Curfew

Bottom Line:

This study found that when comparing the bordering counties of two U.S. states where one issued stay-at-home orders (Illinois) and the other did not (Iowa), there was an increase in the estimated rates of COVID-19 cases in Iowa counties, compared with Illinois counties.

Reference:

Lyu, W. & Wehby, G.L. Comparison of estimated rates of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in border counties in Iowa without a stay-at-home order and border counties in Illinois with a stay-at-home order. JAMA Network Open (2020). https://doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.11102

Date Published:

15 May 2020

Synopsis:

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many regional (country, province, state, etc.) leaders have closed all non-essential businesses, and asked their populations to stay at home as much as possible or practice physical distancing when seeking out essential services such as groceries or medical care. In the United States, these measures are known as “stay-at-home” orders, and are enacted at the state level. This study looked at the relationship between adopting mandatory stay-at-home orders and rates of COVID-19 infections. The authors compared the daily changes in COVID-19 cases, both before and after stay-at-home orders were issued, in the bordering counties of two U.S. states where one issued stay-at-home orders (Illinois) and the other did not (Iowa). Results found that before the Illinois stay-at-home orders, average daily cases per 10,000 residents was comparable between Iowa (0.024 per 10,000) and Illinois (0.026 per 10,000). After the orders, however, cases increased faster in Iowa and slower in Illinois; the difference in cases was significant. In all, these estimated differences showed that Iowa had an additional 217 cases of COVID-19 compared to Illinois. This study provides evidence for the usefulness of stay-at-home orders in reducing the spread of COVID-19.

Summary by: Jennifer Gutberg