Study: NYC COVID shutdown reduced spread of virus by 70 percent

New York City's coronavirus shutdown reduced the spread of the virus by 70 percent between March and June, according to a new study by scientists at Columbia University.

"This computer model spells out exactly what happened, what we all observed happen back in March and April," said Eric Cioe-Peña, Director of Global Health at Northwell Health.

Jeffery Shaman, professor of Environmental Health Sciences at the Mailman School of Public Health of Columbia University attributes the reduction in the spread to school closures and stay-at-home orders.

“It’s those non-pharmaceutical interventions that brought it under control, that’s all we had at our disposal and we can see how much it actually affected the transmission rate of this virus over time,” he said.

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Face coverings also played a role. According to the study, during the first month that facemasks were mandated in public places, there was an additional 7% reduction and a reduction of almost 20 percent among those ages 65 and older.

"We've gotten some benefit from mask-wearing and that certainly wasn't happening in March and April," said Cioe-Peña.

However, the study also pointed out that if everyone wore masks as the older adults did, the city could reduce overall transmission by as much as 28 to 32 percent.