Scientists predicts COVID-19 deaths will rebound when all restrictions are lifted

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As COVID numbers fall and mandates lift, the question remains: Is it possible to avoid trade-offs between returning to pre-pandemic lifestyles and an uptick in COVID-19-related deaths?

Scientists from Harvard and elsewhere and elsewhere conducted a simulation study that projected the future of the COVID-19 pandemic in every state.

The analysis assumes the current pace of vaccination is maintained into the future, and models different dates of lifting mandates.

In most states, relaxing masking mandates and other restrictions resulted in some “rebound” in COVID-19-related deaths; however, delaying the date of lifting mandates did little to lessen the eventual rise in deaths.

The research is published in JAMA Health Forum and was conducted by Benjamin P. Linas et al.

In the study, the team found the inevitable rebound in mortality was directly attributable to the omicron variant.

When they repeated the analysis, assuming the infectivity of the previous alpha and delta variants, the model did not project such rising mortality after relaxing mask mandates.

One of the strongest predictors of the extent of the rebound surge in mortality after relaxing mandates was the degree of immunity in the community at the time of lifting the mandate.

Therefore, communities with a high percentage of residents who are vaccinated and/or who have had COVID-19 are likely to have lower death rates.

The team says while there is ample evidence that a March 2022 lifting date leads to rebound mortality in many states, the simulation also suggests that with the omicron variant, whenever states do remove mandates will face the same difficult choice between increased COVID-19 mortality and the freedoms of returning to a pre-pandemic norm.

The researchers note that the highly transmissible delta and omicron variants will likely continue to take a major toll across the country, but if a less transmissible viral strain were to become dominant, rebounding morbidity and mortality rates would be substantially lower.

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If you care about Covid, please read studies about why are we seeing more COVID cases in fully vaccinated people, and this existing drug can save damaged lungs in COVID-19.

For more information about health, please see recent studies about a new drug that could prevent COVID-19, and results showing that current COVID-19 vaccines cannot effectively prevent omicron infection.

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