Effects of New York's Executive Order on Face Mask Use on COVID-19 Infections and Mortality: A Modeling Study
Christopher K Fairley,
José A. Pagán,
Stella S. Yi,
Brendan G. Carr,
Posted 27 Oct 2020
medRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.10.26.20219527
Posted 27 Oct 2020
BackgroundNew York City (NYC) was the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. On April 17, 2020, the State of New York implemented an Executive Order that requires all people in New York to wear a face mask or covering in public settings where social distancing cannot be maintained. It is unclear how this Executive Order has affected the spread of COVID-19 in NYC. MethodsA dynamic compartmental model of COVID-19 transmission among NYC residents was developed to assess the effect of the Executive Order on face mask use on infections and deaths due to COVID-19 in NYC. Data on daily and cumulative COVID-19 infections and deaths were obtained from the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. ResultsThe Executive Order on face mask use is estimated to avert 99,517 (95% CIs: 72,723-126,312) COVID-19 infections and 7,978 (5,692-10,265) deaths in NYC. If the Executive Order was implemented one week earlier (on April 10), the averted infections and deaths would be 111,475 (81,593-141,356) and 9,017 (6,446-11,589), respectively. If the Executive Order was implemented two weeks earlier (on April 3 when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended face mask use), the averted infections and deaths would be 128,598 (94,373-162,824) and 10,515 (7,540-13,489), respectively. ConclusionsNew Yorks Executive Order on face mask use is projected to have significantly reduced the spread of COVID-19 in NYC. Implementing the Executive Order at an earlier date would avert even more COVID-19 infections and deaths.
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