Objective: The goal of the study is to quantify the reduction in the cases of influenza and how this decrease in incidence correlates with the execution of masking requirements in public as well as social distancing. Methods: Influenza statistics were collected from Northwell Health, a 23-hospital system located throughout New York State. Positive influenza results were collected representing the 2018-2019 Flu season, 2019-2020 Flu season, and compared to the 2020-2021 Flu season, which corresponded to the mask mandates and social distancing measures implemented in NYS. Results: Our data showed a dramatic decrease in influenza rates during the 2020-2021 Flu season, which corresponded to NYS's strict social distancing and mask requirements during the pandemic. This shows a steep decline correlating with the implementation of public health mandates directed at decreasing the spread of aerosolized particles between members of the population. Conclusion: Our data show a significant decrease in the number of positive influenza tests during the same period of time when COVID-19 social distancing and mask-wearing requirements were in effect.
Rana, Vishal; William, Michael; Kewalramani, Anjali; Daloya, Jordan; Barnes, Martin; Chang, Tylis; Miele, Andrew S.; Haggerty, Greg; and Ng, Joseph
"COVID-19 Mask Mandates in NY and Their Effect on the Incidence of Flu,"
Journal of Community Hospital Internal Medicine Perspectives: Vol. 13:
1, Article 1.
Available at: https://scholarlycommons.gbmc.org/jchimp/vol13/iss1/1