Timing social distancing to protect people and hospitals

COVID-19 lockdown and hospital surges

A new study suggests that for major cities it would help avoid catastrophoic overloading of hospitals, if local lockdown measures are reinstated when the seven-day average of hospital admissions goes above a certain number. The lockdown would be eased when the admission rate falls of when the hospitals are below 60% of capacity.

This would minimize economic and social disruption but at the same time protect health services.

One proviso is that high-risk populations must be shielded adequately during the times when the city is not in lockdown.

“Timing social distancing to avert unmanageable COVID-19 hospital surges” – Proc Natl Acad Sci