Research expert: Social distancing may actually help limit coronavirus spread in South Jersey, given enough time

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CAMDEN, N.J. (KYW Newsradio) — A Rutgers University research group looking at hospital bed capacity in South Jersey suggests the drastic actions imposed by the state to control crowd size and exposure to COVID-19 may just work, if given enough time.

The Rand Institute for Public Affairs looked at options if Gov. Phil Murphy did nothing, a little or a lot. Institute Director Darren Spielman, for one, is gratified the Governor took the tough road.

“We are pretty confident that the measures taken now should be flattening the curve and that we shouldn’t be seeing a spike until mid-October and that spike will be much lower,” Spielman told KYW Newsradio.

When that spike hits, we’ll still have a shortage of available beds but it’ll be less than half what it might be in mid-May with minimal action.

Mind you, all this could change if we relax our resolve too soon, something Spielman can’t stress strongly enough.

“If people can take the social distancing seriously, follow the precautions that our government officials and others are recommending, we can do a lot to control this and we can do a lot to have, in the long term, better outcomes for everybody,” he added.

So you might want to get used to this social distancing thing, because we might need to keep it up for quite awhile.