Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion and Population Health
Population Health Research Brief Series
State COVID-19 Policies that Restricted In-Person Interaction and Provided Economic Support Saved Lives During the First Year of the Pandemic
Yue Sun and Erin M. Bisesti
States varied dramatically in implementing policies to mitigate coronavirus spread and provide financial safety nets to residents who may have been struggling with the pandemic’s economic fallout. These differences may have contributed to variations in COVID-19 mortality rates between states. This brief summarizes the results of a recent study examining how U.S. states’ COVID-19 policies were related to COVID-19 mortality rates from April to December 2020. The findings show that states that enacted policies restricting in-person interaction and providing economic support to residents had lower COVID-19 death rates than states without these policies. Over 29,000 lives could have been saved during the first year of the pandemic if all states applied the most restrictive in-person interaction policies and most generous economic support policies.