Friday, April 30, 2021

Virus spread more slowly in counties without interstates

The coronavirus spread primarily along interstate highways, according to a study published in the Journal of Rural Health. That could explain why its major impact in remote rural areas came late in the pandemic.

"Counties that are intersected by interstates had an earlier arrival than non‐intersected counties," the researchers report. "The arrival time difference was the greatest in the most rural counties, and implicates road travel as a factor of transmission into rural communities."

The study was done by two professors at West Virginia University and one at the University of Texas. They looked at data through May 17, 2020 and concluded, "Interstate travel restrictions and road travel restrictions would have supported stronger mitigation efforts during the earlier stages of the Covid‐19 pandemic and reduced transmission."

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