State-Level Stay-At-Home Orders Make a Positive Difference


The effect of state-level stay-at-home orders on COVID-19 infection rates

American Journal of Infection Control

  • Renan C. Castillo, PhD 
  • Elena D. Staguhn, BS
  • Elias Weston-Farber, BS


  • We examined the effect of state-level stay-at-home orders on COVID-19 diagnoses.
  • Rates of confirmed cases were tracked before and after orders were put in place.
  • Logged infection rates were 0.113/day pre-order and 0.047/day post-order.
  • Results were consistent across states supporting the use of stay-at-home orders.


State-level stay-at-home orders were monitored to determine their effect on the rate of confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses. Confirmed cases were tracked before and after state-level stay-at-home orders were put in place. Linear regression techniques were used to determine slopes for log case count data, and meta analyses were conducted to combine data across states. The results were remarkably consistent across states and support the usefulness of stay-at-home orders in reducing COVID-19 infection rates.
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  1. Stay at home has helped, but the fatality rate for nursing homes is way too high. Nationally, it represents a third of all COVID-19 deaths. That needs to be looked at.

    • Edward, Even though they closed nursing homes and those types of facilities to visitors rather early one, there is still the aspect of workers who leave at the end of their shift and return the next day. They become exposed and bring it to the elderly patients who because of their age and pre-existing medical conditions make them prime targets for COVID-19. I am certain that infection in the nursing homes was unintentional, the virus would have spread like wild fire among the elderly residents. Many of the nursing homes and assisted living have eating conditions where people are together several times a day. these homes were one of the types of facilities that were getting testing as soon as it was noted that people who were never out of their home environment were still getting COVID-19. Isolating all positives would be very difficult in these facilities.

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