California’s statewide stay-at-home order has more than served its intended purpose in the battle against the coronavirus pandemic.
We now have more than two weeks of official data to assess the effectiveness of the extraordinary order that Gov. Gavin Newsom issued on March 19. The express purpose of the order was to flatten the daily hospital admissions curve at a point where our health-care system could continuously provide the highest quality care to all COVID-19 and other patients.
Have we done it?
Yes. In my April 8 column, I wrote that the official state Department of Public Health data pointed to a bent curve — hospitalizations were in decline. In my April 11 column, I wrote that the data confirmed my prior view — the curve had clearly been bent. At that time, I wrote that I expected to see a continuous, but bumpy, deceleration in the virus.
How have my two prior analyses fared in light of another week of state data? They were “spot on.”
Here is the updated statewide hospitalization curve, which has continued its dramatic downward trajectory:
Let’s hope the “third time is the charm” for a demonstrably bent curve to make a difference in the course being charted by our elected officials. The data clearly reveal that the statewide stay-at-home order has more than achieved its intended purpose.
If we are, as we claim to be, a state that is guided by data and science, then now is the time to begin the transition into the next phase of the pandemic, during which “localism” will be “determinative,” according to Newsom.
The data show that California is clearly ready to pass the baton. Our counties need to take it.
Be safe. Stay healthy.
— Brian Goebel served as a senior official in the Treasury and Homeland Security departments following 9/11. Since 2005, he has founded successful consulting and analytics firms serving governments around the globe; launched 2040 Matters, a nonpartisan public policy blog dedicated to restoring the American Dream for younger Americans; and was elected to the Montecito Water District Board of Directors in 2018. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.