Detroit Regional Chamber > Social Distancing Is Working, Could Reduce U of M Medicine Patients by 65% by May According to Projections

Social Distancing Is Working, Could Reduce U of M Medicine Patients by 65% by May According to Projections

April 1, 2020
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Scientists at the University of Michigan Medicine released projections that show aggressive social distancing will dramatically reduce the peak number of U of M  hospitalized COVID-19 patients by as much as 65% at peak by early May.

“This data confirms that everyone in Michigan can help us flatten the curve and it is crucial. This is not to be taken lightly,” said Vikas Parekh, M.D., the associate chief clinical officer for Michigan Medicine’s adult hospitals and professor of internal medicine

Parekh also added in a release from the University of Michigan that through sustained and prolonged social distancing, Michigan residents can greatly reduce the portion of the population who become infected and significantly reduce these estimates for the number of patients who would require hospitalization.

“In a scenario where the virus spreads throughout the local population infecting the majority of the population, our model shows tremendous differences between less and more aggressive social distancing,” Parekh said.

Aggressive social distancing means staying away from anyone else outside your immediate family. With Gov. Whitmer’s “Stay at Home” ordered mandated on March 23 you should limit going out to public places including grocery shopping and the pharmacy to only when you have urgent needs.

Why Is Flattening the Curve so Important?

When the COVID-19 pandemic began spreading at a dramatic rate, social distancing became critical to stop the spread and flatten the curve.  Social distancing is a term applied to certain actions that are taken by Public Health officials to stop or slow down the spread of a highly contagious disease, and essentially flattening the curve.

Flattening the curve seeks to have fewer people infected at once, which will keep hospitals from being overwhelmed and buying time to ramp up on production of medical supplies, test treatments, etc. As seen below without protective measures, such as those Gov. Whitmer has implemented across Michigan, the curve goes above the capacity of our health care system.

Michigan Leading in Social Distancing, Receives A Grade on Scoreboard

With cases still on the rise, many states and local governments have started to tighten social distancing measures. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has put Michigan under a “stay at home” order to help reduce the spread of cases across the state.

A location data company, Uncast, created a “social distancing scoreboard,” to evaluate how every state in the combating COVID-19. Michigan received an “A” grade under the leadership of Gov. Whitmer, who has made several executive decisions since