Across US States social distancing measures played a major role in slowing the spread of COVID-19 this spring, researchers have reported. Between March 10 and March 25, all 50 American states and the District of Columbia adopted at least one form of social distancing. These restrictions prevented 621,000 cases of COVID-19 across the United States within three weeks of being implemented, the researchers estimated. In addition, after a state enacted social distancing, its rate of deaths related to COVID-19 dropped, on average, after one week.
Long-term exposure to air pollution may increase the risk of death from Covid-19, according to a large study. It analysed more than 46,000 coronavirus deaths in England and showed that a small, single-unit increase in people’s exposure to small-particle pollution over the previous decade may increase the death rate by up to 6%. A single-unit increase in nitrogen dioxide, which is at illegal levels in most urban areas, was linked to a 2% increase in death rates.