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COVID “Cocooning”

As COVID case numbers trend higher, a *new* social mitigation strategy presents another *potential* option to severe lockdowns.

What It Is & Why It Matters

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What Is Cocooning?

  • A term for prioritizing & shielding vulnerable populations most susceptible to severe cases of COVID-19, such as nursing home residents.
  • Instead of a one-size-fits-all approach to social mitigation, the strategy suggests doubling-down protection efforts for those most vulnerable.
  • Those cocooning would follow strict social distancing measures, essentially self-isolate, work from home, etc.
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The Recent Research

  • University of Texas, Austin.
  • Researchers analyzed transmission & case data of the “fastest-growing large city area” in the U.S. — Austin, Texas.
  • One Take-Away:postponing relaxation (of social mitigation efforts) will only delay future disease waves.”
  • Researchers argue cocooning prevents higher hospitalizations and deaths, preserving resources & saving lives, while allowing others to “relax.”
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“Leaky cocooning can substantially undermine containment.”

Research published by The University of Texas at Austin and Northwestern University this summer presented a strategy that includes cocooning as part of a way to "toggle" between enforcing and relaxing stay-at-home orders, as long as strict adherence for those "cocooned" takes place.
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While COVID cases climb in certain states, the national average of new daily cases currently hovers at 50,000. In July, it topped 66,000. Researchers on cocooning aren't saying we'd never have to lockdown again but argue cocooning could reduce the length and severity of other mitigation measures during infection spikes.

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Sources

The early research paper printed by the CDC by University of Texas: READ MORE

Here’s a description of an earlier study and the link to the direct source from the National Academy of Sciences