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Elvin Geng, MD, PhD, professor of medicine, uses epidemiologic model that indicates early COVID-19 shutdowns helped St. Louis area avoid thousands of deaths

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Delays in implementing public health orders likely would have resulted in many more hospitalizations, deaths.

In March 2020, not long after the first cases of COVID-19 were reported locally, health officials in the city of St. Louis and St. Louis County issued emergency public health orders intended to reduce interactions between people and slow the transmission of the novel respiratory virus. Such action likely saved thousands of lives in the region, according to new research led by Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.