Flattening the Curve: Are Our Social Distancing Efforts Working?

As some states start relaxing social distancing requirements and businesses begin to reopen, it’s important to know what kind of impact these measures have had on limited the spread of COVID-19.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the U.S., cities and states across the nation have implemented stay-at-home orders, non-essential business closures, and other precautions.

But are these efforts working? While numbers vary widely across the U.S., trends show that yes, social distancing measures have flattened the curve, meaning the number of cases and the number of deaths related to the coronavirus have stopped increasing and have stabilized.

Here’s everything you need to know about what’s happened since mid-March in the nation, Southern Florida, and Broward County.

Why social distancing works

First, what’s the point of social distancing? Can’t the virus be spread in ways other than having close contact with people?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the primary form of COVID-19 transmission is being in close contact with others—less than 6 feet—for an extended period. Spread occurs from droplets released during speech, sneezing, or coughing, for instance, and surrounding individuals are then infected when they inhale these droplets.

Even people who have the virus but are asymptomatic can spread the virus this way. This is especially important in understanding the purpose behind strict social distancing measures—even if you feel fine, you could still be a source of spread.

While it is possible to spread COVID-19 via surfaces, especially if a person touches something that is infected and then touches their face, this is not the primary form of transmission. But social distancing measures also limited the number of surfaces we share and touch outside our homes.

When fewer people are in contact with the sick, fewer people get the virus, and the spread is then limited.

Social distancing statistics in the U.S.

It can be challenging to accurately measure national social distancing success rates since states have staggered their implementation of these policies. And some states have been much stricter than others. A few regions, like New York, have seen significantly more cases and deaths than many more rural areas of the country.

However, it’s clear that on a national level, social distancing has prevented a more severe peak in cases and has caused a plateau instead—a flattening of the curve.

A study published on medRxiv, conducted by researchers at Cornell University and the University of Rochester, showed that social distancing measures across the nation caused stabilization of the coronavirus spread. However, cases have not necessarily declined because of the efforts. This means that there could have been thousands more cases and deaths had the country not implemented social distancing measures when it did.

Because the virus can have a long incubation period and testing wasn’t widely available right away, the study also showed that it took about 12 days for social distancing efforts to become apparent in the numbers.

It’s also been possible to use geolocation data in U.S. cities to track the extent to which people are social distancing, compared to the number of coronavirus cases being reported. And projections based on this data have shown that, as social distancing measures have increased, the curve has flattened.

Broward County statistics

As beaches in Southern Florida have reopened, many Americans have become confused and outraged at the number of people flocking to sunbathe and swim. However, some rules are still in place in these areas, including Miami, like the restriction of bringing in chairs or coolers. Even still, with businesses and shared spaces reopening, some worry that Southern Florida could see a second wave of cases.

As of May 31, 2020, there were 52,255 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Florida, and 2,259 deaths. Broward County has seen 7,067 cases, with 313 deaths. Even as social distancing restrictions start to ease up, cases are still increasing in the state, although not dramatically.

To avoid a second wave, the Broward County website urges community members to follow guidelines. They also say that “enforcement is critical to the success of Broward County’s reopening strategy to ensure that a spike in new cases does not occur, which could result in another complete or partial shutdown.”

As your business may be reopening or starting to plan for the future, it’s important to have all necessary PPE and signage to communicate your policies.

The Corporate Graphic Center (TCGC) is the leader in social distancing signage and provides posters, floor decals, stickers, and more to help you integrate safety practices. We also have a range of PPE, such as FDA-approved masks and hand sanitizer. We can also print single-use menus to reduce transferring germs.

Products from TCGC can help you safely and efficiently reopen your doors. Get in touch with TCGC to learn more.

We would love to learn about your company and help you create a memorable experience. Call 954.838.9318 or email us info@tcgcenter.com

Gaby Thierer

Gaby founded TCGC in 2002 shortly after she immigrated from Argentina. Following her family’s blueprint, Gaby has been working in the printing industry since only 12 years old. Over the years she has worked with thousands of companies helping making their brand memorable.

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