What We're Reading: Policies Curbed COVID-19 Transmission; Reports of Child Abuse Fall; Texas Reopens and Cases Spike

June 9, 2020

A new study found that anticontagion policies implemented worldwide prevented hundreds of millions of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infections; reports of child abuse have fallen by more than 50% in New York City as a result of the pandemic; Texas reopens its economy and sees a spike in infections.

Distancing Policies Prevented COVID-19 Transmission

Anticontagion policies across China, South Korea, Italy, Iran, France, and the United States effectively prevented or delayed hundreds of millions of additional infections, according to a new study published in Nature. Researchers collected data from 1717 local, regional, and national nonpharmaceutical interventions deployed in the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Had the United States not adopted the social distancing measures it did, the country would have experienced roughly 60 million additional infections. That figure rises to 285 million in China. Without any policy interventions, investigators estimate early exponential infection rates of COVID-19 could have reached 38% per day.

Reports of Child Abuse Drop

Reports of child abuse in New York City dropped by 51% as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, The New York Times reports. This steep drop-off has authorities worried, as children may be confined to troubled homes with perpetrators or in foster care facilities. Usually, teachers report child abuse to authorities, but as schools shut down and shifted to online class, it became more challenging to detect signs of mistreatment. An average of 1374 cases of child abuse or neglect were reported in the first 8 weeks of spring 2019, but during the same period in 2020, that average fell to 672.

Texas Reopens Economy; Infections Spike

As Texas begins its economic reopening, the state faces record-breaking hospitalizations of individuals with COVID-19, NPR reports. According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, on May 5 there were 1888 patients admitted for COVID-19. On June 8, 1935 individuals were admitted. Despite the uptick, Governor Greg Abbott plans to continue reopening bars, restaurants, and other businesses at 50% capacity. Spikes in cases are not confined to the United States, as on June 8 the World Health Organization reported the highest daily jump in cases at 136,000.