This site allows you to assign "scores" to various COVID-related
restriction policies using the table below.
Columns represent stringency levels that vary from "No Restriction"
(meaning allowed to operate at 100% of capacity) to totally "Closed".
The rows represent categories of business lines.
You should assign scores within a category based on the relationship
you wish to see between a restriction and the trajectory of COVID-19
fatalities. For example, under the default a county is given twice as
many "restrictions points" (20 points) if it limits bars' or
restaurants' indoor capacity to between 1% and 25% relative to setting
it between 51% and 99% (10 points).
Similarly, the weights allow you to alter the emphasis between various
category restrictions and the relationship to COVID-19 fatalities. If,
for example, you want to focus exclusively on how bar restrictions
ultimately related to COVID-19 fatalities, you can assign Bars a weight
of 500 and the rest weights of 0. (However, the sum of the policy scores
in each row must still be 100, even if the weight is 0.) The default
weights each category equally.
When you click "Show Chart", the site will use the scores in the table
to calculate a stringency score for each US county on a week-by-week
basis. Counties are then sorted into either a below or above average
score group for the week. The cutoff is based on the week's population
average score across counties. (This means the high and low score groups
cover approximately the same total populations.) The graph then
displays the cumulative fatalities per 100,000 people for each group
over time. Because these calculations are done weekly, counties will
move across the high and low score groups over time as both their
policies and those of other counties across the country change.
The chart ends in December 2021. After that nearly every US county had
few if any COVID-related restrictions in place.
- No Restriction: Open to 100% of indoor capacity.
- Capacity 50plus: Open between 51% and 99% of indoor capacity.
- Capacity 50: Open between 26% and 50% of indoor capacity.
- Capacity 25: Open between 1% and 25% of indoor capacity.
- Outdoor: Outdoor only service. Indoor capacity 0%.
- Closed: Capacity 0%.
Only bars and restaurants have Outdoor stringency levels. If businesses
in some other category was only allowed to operate outside, the
restriction was classified as Closed in the data.
Score assignment restrictions:
For each policy category, the stringency scores must sum to 100. The
weight column must sum to 500. Negative scores are not allowed.
The score for each stringency level must be greater than or equal to
that of the less restrictive level below it (i.e., stringency levels
must be weakly increasing from left to right.)
"Set Scores to Default" button:
Sets every score back to its default value.
Fatality Lag menu:
You can see how policies currently are related to fatalities four or
six weeks after they are in place. Selecting a lag time will relate
total fatalities in week t to the polices that were in place 4 or 6
Example: You set the lag to 4. On April 1 county A and B had
populations of 10 and 50 as well as stringency scores of 250 and 340
respectively. Counties C and D had populations of 20 and 40 and scores
of 100 and 200 respectively. The population weighted average score
based on the April 1 policies is (10(250)+50(340)+20(100)+40(200))/120
= 245.83. In this case counties C and D will be in the low stringency
group for April 1 and counties A and B will be in the high group for
that week. The week of April 28 counties A and B had a total of 750
fatalities while C and D had a total of 1,000. The high line will
display 750 additional fatalities, while the low line will display
1,000, as of April 28.