Coronavirus: Model projects when states could safely reopen businesses

(CNN/Gray News) - An influential coronavirus model often cited by the White House offers a glimpse into when states would be able to safely open businesses amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

A coronavirus model says many states will need to wait longer to reopen, including Georgia. (IHME/University of Washington)

New data from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington suggests many states may need to wait more than a month before businesses can return to normal operations without a significant negative impact on the number of cases.

The model shows 18 states should wait until June 8 or later before considering relaxing social distancing guidelines, assuming states will have other measures in place. Those measures include aggressive testing, contact tracing and isolation of those infected. Georgia, which is planning to relax social distancing guidelines starting Friday, is one of the 18 states.

Several states, including West Virginia, Hawaii and Montana, are projected to be able to safely reopen in early May.

This model is one of many, and the institute has warned against relying too heavily on its projections. It uses a conservative “threshold” to predict when states can relax social distancing measures.

The White House is helping the model by providing data and feedback.

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