What’s new: Some early research indicates more-targeted lockdowns can effectively smother outbreaks while leaving broader city and regional economies mostly intact.

A paper published by a team of economists in July found a more precise shutdown focused on places where viral spread was most common could have reduced economic losses in New York by as much as 50% compared to a uniform lockdown.

As long as new outbreaks are still in the relatively low flare-up stage, targeted lockdowns can efficiently cut off the oxygen to new spread. That seems to be the case in New York, where data released on Thursday indicates transmission has slowed in six of the ZIP codes that had been the focus of targeted lockdowns.

Yes, but: Individuals move around a city, and some epidemiologists worry that over time cases will break out of targeted lockdown areas and spark a wider outbreak.