NEW YORK – The coronavirus shutdown in New York City reduced the spread of the virus by 70% between March and June, according to a new study by scientists at Columbia University.
“This computer model describes exactly what happened, what we all observed happening in March and April,” said Eric Cioe-Peña, director of global health at Northwell Health.
Jeffery Shaman, professor of environmental health sciences at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health attributes the reduction in the spread to school closings and home orders.
“It was these non-pharmaceutical interventions that put it under control, that’s all we had at our disposal and we can see how much that has actually affected the rate of transmission of this virus over time,” did he declare.
Facial coverings also played a role. According to the study, in the first month that face masks were mandatory in public places, there was an additional 7% reduction and an almost 20% reduction among people aged 65 and over.
“Wearing masks allowed us to capitalize on this and it certainly did not happen in March and April,” Cioe-Peña said.
However, the study also pointed out that if everyone wore masks like the elderly did, the city could reduce overall transmission by 28-32%.