New modeling suggests Oregon’s strict social distancing averted 70,000 coronavirus infections

Restrictions due to COVID-19 have halted face-to-face gatherings and closed businesses in an effort to stop the spread of the pandemic. (CDC file art)

Oregon’s aggressive steps to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus may have averted more than 70,000 infections, including almost 1,500 hospitalizations, according to a new analysis released Friday by state health officials.

The projections, provided by the Institute for Disease Modeling in Washington, are only estimates used for planning by Oregon health officials.

While imperfect, the officials say they offer the latest evidence that Oregon flattened the the curve of its COVID-19 outbreak through the strict social distancing measures imposed more than a month ago.

 “Our collective efforts are working,” said Dr. Dean Sidelinger, the state’s epidemiologist.

The latest projections estimate . . .