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New York City?s shutdown reduced spread of coronavirus by 70 percent, study finds - The Washington Post

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What is sustainable?”The coronavirus pandemic is pushing America into a mental health crisisMasks also played a big role in curbing the spread, the researchers found.The forthcoming study found that the widespread use of face coverings was linked to a 7 percent reduction in transmission during the first month the mandate was implemented in public spaces.“But that effectiveness varied very substantially across different age segments of the population,” said Wan Yang, assistant professor of epidemiology at the Columbia Mailman School.Face coverings helped reduce transmission by about 20 percent among people 65 and older, compared with less than 10 percent for most other age groups.Those numbers reflect the reality that people do not always wear their masks consistently or correctly.Yang, the study’s lead author, said it is not a surprise that older populations had more effective mask behavior, compared with younger people who may choose comfort over mask compliance.Coronavirus kills far more Hispanic and Black children than White youths, CDC study finds“The elderly, they know they’re at [higher] risk, so they’re more willing to wear face masks correctly when they’re outside,” she said, adding: “Just from personal observation, they tend to be more cautious. There is “definitely room for improvement” in mask-wearing, Yang said.Improving mask-wearing will be key as the city continues to reopen and as more people venture outdoors after months of staying home, Yang said, especially for “reducing the risk of another resurgence of covid for places that were able to get it under control and are now reopening, trying to gain some normalcy after a severe period of the pandemic.”Jeffrey Shaman, a professor of environmental health sciences at Columbia and a co-author on the study, said in a statement, “It’s crucial that we find ways to boost consistent and correct mask use in settings where social distancing is not possible.”The researchers used city data on case numbers and deaths, as well as mobility data from SafeGraph, a company that aggregates cellphone location information, to simulate the spread of the coronavirus and estimate transmission.

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