Researchers from Harvard gave a grim report: social distancing may last until 2022.

HOT 99.1 logo
Enter your number to get our free mobile app

A stay-at-home order has been in place in New York for about a month and already many are hoping it ends in the near future. Well, a study from the Harvard School of Public Health found that social distancing measures should be in place in the United States until 2022.

"Intermittent distancing may be required into 2022 unless critical care capacity is increased substantially or a treatment or vaccine becomes available," researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health wrote in their published findings.

On Wednesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the battle with COVID-19 won’t truly be over until a vaccine is found which is expected to take 12 to 18 months. Dr. Anthony Fauci and the FDA have both given the same timeline for a vaccine. The governor added New York will do anything to help shorten that timeline.

Live Updates: Coronavirus in the Hudson Valley

Harvard researchers note they are aware social distancing for that long will have "profoundly negative economic, social, and educational consequences."

The researches pointed to South Korea and Singapore which had highly-effective distancing and said "less effective one-time distancing efforts may result in a prolonged single-peak epidemic, with the extent of strain on the healthcare system."

The study added that even if there's an "apparent elimination" of COVID-19, officials must continue to monitor and be prepared for other outbreaks. Researchers say a resurgence of COVID-19 could be possible as late as 2024.

Harvard researchers also warn coronavirus could return every winter after this most severe pandemic wave.

COVID-19: Disturbing Photos Show a Completely Empty Hudson Valley

More From HOT 99.1