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How Many Lives Have Stay-at-Home Orders Saved?

Lives Saved By Stay-at-Home Orders

May 11, 2020

The Dornsife School of Public Health, through its Urban Health Collaborative (UHC), is working with the Big Cities Health Coalition (BCHC) to support the Coalition’s vision of healthy, more equitable cities through big city innovation and leadership. For the UHC, the partnership is an opportunity to advance its commitment to research, training, and policy translation in urban health locally and globally, leveraging the School’s historic expertise in public health practice in urban settings.

Shortly after this partnership began, cities around the world were faced with the COVID-19 pandemic. Stay-at-home orders were issued for almost all large cities and residents are facing the loss of not only life but livelihoods as well. However, stay-at-home orders are extremely crucial in slowing the spread of COVID-19.

The Big Cities Health Coalition (BCHC) released estimates that show that early actions by BCHC members, leaders from America’s largest metropolitan health departments, to get the public to stay home led to an estimated 2.1 million hospitalizations avoided and over 200,000 lives saved. These estimates, based on 45-day shelter-in-place/stay-at-home orders, were calculated by the Urban Health Collaborative at Drexel University’s Dornsife School of Public Health using a model published by The New York Times.

A powerful voice for public health departments in the nation’s largest, most urban cities, this partnership with Drexel’s Urban Health Collaborative advances BCHC's work by bringing expertise in policy, planning, data knowledge and evaluation to support BCHC’s strong commitment to evidence-based urban health practice.

Avoided hospitalizations and lives saved estimates for all 30 BCHC jurisdictions can be found below. The template for the estimation calculations was based on methodology developed by Community Information Now.

Austin, Travis County, Texas

Baltimore, Maryland

Boston, Massachusetts

Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina

Chicago, Illinois

Cleveland, Ohio

Columbus, Franklin County, Ohio

Dallas, Texas

Denver, Colorado

Detroit, Michigan

Fort Worth, Tarrant County, Texas

Houston, Texas

Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana

Kansas City, Missouri

Las Vegas, Clark County, Nevada

Long Beach, California

Los Angeles, California

Miami, Miami-Dade County, Florida

Minneapolis, Minnesota

New York City, New York

Oakland, Alameda County, California

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Phoenix, Maricopa County, Arizona

Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon

San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas

San Diego, California

San Francisco, California

San Jose, Santa Clara County, California

Seattle, King County, Washington

Washington, D.C.

To read more about the Urban Health Collaborative's response to the pandemic, please visit: