What works against the spread of COVID-19?

Henrike Steimer

With data from Keystone Strategy, this Medium article is written by Henrike Steimer, a Postdoctoral Scholar at The Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB)

Let’s gather evidence on the effectiveness of different policy measures against the spread of COVID-19!

With more detailed data on the varying introduction of policies across US counties and over time as well as the resulting spread of the disease we could provide evidence on which measures we should keep and which measures we should lift in order to reactivate the economy (see e.g. this post by Tomas Pueyo on “Coronavirus: The Hammer and the Dance” and the need to quantify the contributions of different measures to this trade-off).

There are great projects gathering necessary data and contributions are very welcome:

  • collaborative collection of data on the interventions  by Keystone Strategy partnered with Susan Athey, Stanford Professor of Economics, and Marco Iansiti, Director of Harvard Business School’s Digital Initiative; follow this link to contribute
Please see link to read full article: Link
  • data on cases and deaths by The New York  Times based on reports from state and local health agencies that the NYTimes use for their U.S. tracking page Which NPIs did US counties implement and when?

As shown in the figure above, there has been a major wave of implementation of NPIs between March 9 and March 21 in many US counties. One of the “early” NPIs was social distancing for vulnerable groups from early March on. Most counties adopted more restrictive NPIs like gathering size limitations and the closure of public venues, schools and universities as well as non-essential services within a very short time period of just a few days mid-March. By late March, social distancing for all has become common in most counties.

Timeline of COVID-19 cases and implemented NPIs in San Francisco. Data from Keystone Strategy and NY Times. A cleaned and combined version can be found on https://github.com/khakieconomics/covid_data.