Stay Home to Reduce COVID-19 Spread, Evers Says
New study shows that reducing contact and travel is effective in curtailing transmission.
As the pandemic tightens its grip and reaches into every corner of Wisconsin with ever-higher numbers of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths, Gov. Tony Evers is asking people to stay home, and at least one county is urging employers to let staff work from home.
Gatherings, large and small, continue to be the biggest driver of infection, according to local and state officials. And despite pleas to stay home, people in Wisconsin appear to be traveling as much as they did before the pandemic.
“According to our tracking dashboard, overall mobility is already back to normal,” Gao said Thursday. “Also, the close contact (physical distancing) index has dramatically increased in September and October, which indicates more gatherings in the state.”
Gao began the project as a way to understand if residents were following the state’s “Safer At Home” order when it was in effect from the end of March to mid-May, before the state Supreme Court struck it down.
In April, Gao said residents’ mobility had been curtailed significantly, especially in urban areas like Dane and Milwaukee counties.
That was backed by genetic sequencing of COVID-19 cases in the two counties. Only 75 miles apart, there was little transmission of the disease between Madison and Milwaukee. Those findings come in a new study authored by Thomas Friedrich, a professor in the UW School of Veterinary Medicine, and was published Thursday in the journal Nature Communications.
By comparing different strains of the virus, researchers can tell where it’s spreading.
Friedrich and O’Connor are doing a study on spillover for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention along with researchers from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and UW-Milwaukee scientists.
A researcher in La Crosse has already linked positive coronavirus cases on nearby college campuses to nursing home infections and deaths.
That study, which has not been formally reviewed, looked at whether outbreaks at UW-La Crosse, Viterbo University and Western Technical College affected the larger community.
Listen to the WPR report here.
Again, Evers, Health Officials Urge People To Stay Home In Hopes Of Reducing COVID-19 Spread was originally published by Wisconsin Public Radio.