Mandatory stay-at-home orders can help reduce activities associated with community spread of COVID-19, including population movement and close person-to-person contact outside the household. Mandatory stay-at-home orders were associated with reduced population movement in most counties during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the relaxation of those orders was associated with increased movement. Although stay-at-home orders might assist in limiting potential exposure to SARS-CoV-2 and have had public support (7), such orders substantially disrupt daily life and have resulted in adverse economic impact (8). Further studies are needed to assess the timing and conditions under which stay-at-home orders might be best used to protect health, minimize negative impacts, and ensure equitable enforcement of community mitigation policies. These findings can inform public policies to potentially slow the spread of COVID-19 and control other communicable diseases in the future.

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