Harvard Study: Social Distancing May Be Necessary Into 2022


CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — In a study, researchers with the Harvard School of Public Health found that it may be necessary to keep some social distancing measures in place through 2022 to help save lives in the event of further outbreaks.

The study was published in the Science on Tuesday. The researchers predict that recurrent wintertime outbreaks of coronavirus "will probably occur after the initial, most severe pandemic wave."

"A key metric for the success of social distancing interventions is whether critical care capacities are exceeded," according to the study. "Modeling studies and experience from the Wuhan outbreak indicate that critical care capacities even in high-income countries can be exceeded many times over if distancing measures are not implemented quickly or strong enough."

The researchers suggest that to avoid overrunning health care facilities, "prolonged or intermittent social distancing may be necessary into 2022."

The study went on to say that COVID-19 should continue to be monitored because a resurgence could be possible "as late as 2024."

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(Photo: James Rojas/WBZ NewsRadio)