Researcher: Stay-at-home order will “save lives”

Projections for COVID-19 pandemic

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) – Less people will die in Alabama from COVID-19 if there is a statewide stay-at-home order, according to researchers at the University of Washington.

“We have seen when we have implemented these measures, we have seen a reduction in mortality, we have seen a reduction in admissions to the hospital. So, they work,” said Dr. Ali Mokdad, Professor, Health Metrics Sciences, Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.

Other crucial measures to reduce deaths caused by COVID-19, closing schools and non-essential businesses, have already been implemented in Alabama.

Dr. Mokdad said the purpose of IHME’s state-by-state projections is to, “provide our decision makers with data on ventilators and ICU data on beds.”

The team of researchers at IHME collects data from the World Health Organization, federal and state governments and using a statistical formula, estimates when a state will reach its peak need for ICU beds and ventilators.

“Alabama has done a good job in having the beds and securing the ICU units, and the ventilators, so we are seeing an improvement in that, but what we are no seeing in Alabama, again and again, really is that statewide order to stay at home,” said Dr. Mokdad.

IHME is projecting that by April 20, 449 people will die in Alabama from COVID-19. By May, more than 800 deaths are estimated and by June, more than 1,000.

Dr. Mokdad believes a statewide stay-at-home order will lower the projected death rate.

“We have known when these measures, when all of them have been implemented, we have seen a reduction in mortality, and less demand on health facilities.”

He added, “We are not here to scare people, we are not here to get media attention. So when we say it’s a pandemic and a deadly virus we haven’t seen before, please take it seriously, please stay at home, because we don’t want people to die from it.”

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