Effects of Closures and Openings on Public Health in the Time of COVID-19: A Cross-Country and Temporal Trend Analysis

Long Chu, Quentin Grafton, Tom Kompas, Mary-Louise McLaws

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    Many countries mandated social distancing measures during the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 to 2022 that variously includedopening hours restrictions on hospitality and retail, economy-wide closures, and additional international border controls. Weanalyzed whether more restrictive (hereafter, closures) or less restrictive (hereafter, openings) social distancing measureschanged the short-term trends in the number of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and ICU patients in Australia, Canada,and the United Kingdom. Our analysis uses a ‘‘before-and-after’’ trend analysis (decremental/incremental and growth/decaytrends) to compare the trends of epidemic indicators before and after each closure or opening event. Results show that, ingeneral, and for these three countries: (a) closures resulted in reduced trend growth in adverse COVID-19 public health out-comes and (b) openings resulted in increased trend growth for the three selected measures of public health.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-11
    JournalSAGE Open
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2023

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