News Local news News from America This U.S. State is Beat­ing Coro­n­avirus and here’s its Secret

This U.S. State is Beat­ing Coro­n­avirus and here’s its Secret

This U.S. State is Beat­ing Coro­n­avirus and Here’s Its Secret

As a result of the coro­n­avirus pan­dem­ic, each state has tak­en its own, unique approach to how they han­dle it. Some have been more con­ser­v­a­tive than oth­ers, shut­ting down their schools and busi­ness on the ear­li­er side and reopen­ing slow­ly. Oth­ers start­ed the reopen­ing process as soon as pos­si­ble, in an attempt to return to nor­mal­i­ty and improve the econ­o­my of their state. Researchers are thor­ough­ly exam­in­ing the impact of each state’s meth­ods com­pared to their coro­n­avirus sta­tis­tics, in hopes of fig­ur­ing out the secret to suc­cess­ful­ly bat­tling the virus. For exam­ple, Texas, Ari­zona, and Flori­da — all which start­ed reopen­ing on the ear­li­er side of things —are set­ting records with the num­ber of new coro­n­avirus cases. 

a bridge over a body of water with a city in the background: Cleveland, Ohio, USA downtown skyline on the river.© Pro­vid­ed by Eat This, Not That! Cleve­land, Ohio, USA down­town sky­line on the river.

Ohio, on the oth­er hand, has not. 

Suc­cess in the Midwest

The mid­west­ern state start­ed lift­ing their stay-at-home orders grad­u­al­ly over the last six weeks, and their tac­tics have been work­ing. Accord­ing to sta­tis­tics, they have expe­ri­enced a plateau in new­ly report­ed cas­es — with the aver­age num­ber of new cas­es per week drop­ping from 476 to 391 since May 1. The num­ber of week­ly cas­es for the week end­ing Mon­day was the low­est since the sec­ond week of April. Hos­pi­tal­iza­tions have also sig­nif­i­cant­ly declined, from 1,067 to 513. 

“We’re not see­ing any sig­nif­i­cant increase or reestab­lish­ment of a wave or a peak in Ohio and that’s great,” Mark Cameron, an infec­tious dis­ease researcher and pro­fes­sor in the school of med­i­cine at Case West­ern Reserve Uni­ver­si­ty, told USA Today

Cameron believes that one of the secrets to Ohio’s suc­cess is that peo­ple are actu­al­ly fol­low­ing the rec­om­mend­ed coro­n­avirus pre­ven­tion meth­ods as out­lined by the CDC. “What that could mean is that peo­ple are still gen­er­al­ly fol­low­ing the guidelines.”

Three Pos­si­ble Rea­sons for Success

1. Effi­cient Testing

Ohio is cur­rent­ly test­ing more peo­ple than ever, dou­bling the num­ber of viral tests admin­is­tered from April to May from 104,247 to 255,030 — but hos­pi­tal­iza­tions aren’t trend­ing up. Cameron points out that ulti­mate­ly, increased test­ing catch­es peo­ple when they are ear­li­er in the ill­ness and can be treat­ed at home and is like­ly catch­ing asymp­to­matic or pre-symp­to­matic peo­ple before they start spread­ing the virus to oth­ers, break­ing the chain of transmission.

2. A Grad­ual Reopening

While Texas, Flori­da, and Ari­zona rushed to reopen their econ­o­my, allow­ing peo­ple to flood beach­es, bars, and restau­rants, Ohio used a more grad­ual reopen­ing strat­e­gy. For exam­ple, many med­ical and den­tal pro­ce­dures start­ed reopen­ing May 1, fol­lowed by bars and restau­rants allow­ing indoor ser­vice on May 21, and gyms and low-con­tact sports on May 26. In the past week, zoos, muse­ums and water parks have reopened in the past week. Large gath­er­ing spaces, such as con­cert halls and pro­fes­sion­al sports, are still closed. 

When busi­ness­es were allowed to reopen, some opt­ed not to and many opened at a low­er capac­i­ty. They were also required to fol­low safe­ty rules, such as keep­ing six feet apart between patrons, wear­ing masks, and fre­quent­ly disinfecting. 

3. Promis­ing Mobil­i­ty Data

Accord­ing to mobil­i­ty data, res­i­dents of Ohio are tak­ing the pan­dem­ic seri­ous­ly and aren’t rush­ing to leave the house. 

Accord­ing to cell phone loca­tion data ana­lyzed by Google, peo­ple spent about 40% less time at the office dur­ing May, com­pared to Jan­u­ary and Feb­ru­ary. Also, dur­ing the first week of the state’s stay-at-home order, traf­fic was down near­ly 50 per­cent com­pared to the fol­low­ing year. Even now, traf­fic is still more than 20 per­cent less than in 2019.

And, just because restau­rants are reopen­ing, peo­ple aren’t din­ing out. Dur­ing the first week that restau­rants were open for din­ing, reser­va­tions were down over 70 per­cent com­pared to the same time last year, accord­ing to data from OpenTable. Over the last week, they have increased but are still 58 per­cent less than last year. 

www​.msn​.com / Leah Groth