Simulator shows thousands more could die of COVID-19 in Mass. if stay-at-home advisory lifted next month

BOSTON (WHDH) - A COVID-19 simulator created in part by Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School shows that the sooner the stay-at-home advisory is lifted in the Bay State, the more coronavirus-related deaths are expected.

The state’s stay-at-home advisory was slated to end next Monday but Gov. Charles Baker announced Tuesday that this has been extended through May 18.

The online simulator shows that if Massachusetts’ current intervention against the coronavirus lasts for four more weeks, until May 25, then deaths from COVID-19 could reach 27,200 by Aug. 31.

If the stay-at-home advisory gets extended to eight more weeks, until June 22, then the estimated deaths is projected to be 5,370 by Aug. 31.

Expanding the advisory for 12 weeks, until July 20, would minimize the number of deaths to 4,960 by Aug. 31, the simulator found.

Health officials announced Monday that 3,003 people in Massachusetts had died of coronavirus complications.

MGH, Harvard Medical School, Georgia Tech, and Boston Medical Center wrote that they created the COVID-19 simulator to help policymakers decide how to respond to the novel coronavirus by exploring the impact of different social-distancing interventions.

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