Did Harvard Accurately Predict When U.S. National Lockdown Would End?

When Will Lockdown End

Back in April 2020, a Harvard study during the pandemic circulated on when the national lockdown would end. I thought it would be interesting to see if Harvard accurately predicted the end of our country’s lockdown. We’re pulling up a story we published back in April 2020 to see if Harvard got it right. We made no changes to any of the copy below.

Did Harvard accurately predict when U.S. National Lockdown would end? Taking a look back to April 2020 in the heart of the lockdown. This story was published April 22, 2020 after Harvard released the report.

A recent Harvard study on the coronavirus pandemic shows what the U.S. needs to end the national lockdown. In the report, the U.S. will need 20 million coronavirus tests per day to safely end the quarantine and restart the economy. 

To give you perspective, 20 million is the population of New York State, according to the US Census.

As of April 21, New York only has the capability of doing 3,000 tests per day. 

In “Roadmap to Pandemic Resilience,” published by Harvard University’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, which used a panel of experts to conduct the research, the U.S. will need to deliver at least 5 million tests per day by early June to begin reopening the country, and that as many as 20 million tests per day would be needed “to fully remobilize the economy.”

It could take months to remobilize our economy. Photo Courtesy of Iowa Tourism Office.

“Between now and August, we should phase in economic mobilization in sync with growth in our capacity to provide sustainable testing programs for mobilized sectors of the workforce,” according to the report. “The great value of this approach is that it will prevent cycles of opening up and shutting down. It allows us to steadily reopen the parts of the economy that have been shut down, protect our frontline workers, and contain the virus to levels where it can be effectively managed and treated until we can find a vaccine.”

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The level of testing and supported isolation needed depends on how effectively we can trace people’s contacts, warn those contacts about their exposures and need for a test, test them and isolate those who are COVID-positive, according to the report. 

The research also says that a Pandemic Testing Board set up by the federal government, Federal and/or state guidance for state testing programs, readiness frameworks to support local health leaders and other public officials and innovation in testing methodologies are needed to achieve 20 million daily coronavirus testing.

When can we travel again
We could start traveling again in months, according to a Harvard study on the pandemic.

Universal testing might be required as an alternative to national quarantine, according to the report. 

The population of the United States is roughly 328 million, according to U.S. Census. With 20 million tests per day, it would take 16.4 days, approximately 2 weeks, to complete testing of all U.S. citizens and begin to remobilize our economy. 

If we tested 5 million people per day, it would take 65 days, roughly 2 months, to test all U.S. citizens and begin reopening the country. 

This story was published on April 22, 2020 on the Harvard study on pandemic and when the lockdown would likely end.

More stories:

All coronavirus tracking reports have conflicting data. Which should you trust?

Airlines are still flying planes with no passengers during the coronavirus pandemic. Here’s why.

How 11 major hotel chains have responded to the coronavirus pandemic.

13 U.S states have *not* ordered a lockdown yet. Take a look. 

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