New Yale study shows heat, humidity, UV rays ‘moderately associated’ with lowering COVID-19 spread


NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Researchers at the Yale School of Public Health have released a new study analyzing the relation of heat, humidity, and UV rays with COVID-19 spread.

The study finds that warmer temperatures (Over 68 degrees Fahrenheit, or 20 Celcius), along with increased humidity and higher levels of UV radiation, were moderately associated with a lower number of new infections in a single person. Researchers say absolute humidity plays the biggest role.

Researchers investigated 2,669 counties in the U.S. from March 15 to Dec. 31, 2020 during the study.

Researchers found that 17.5% of the virus’ reproduction was due to meteorological factors. Researchers found that the temperature accounted for 3.73%, humidity accounted for 9.35%, and UV radiation for 4.44%.

However, leaders of the study said that these findings do not substitute the main steps in preventing COVID-19 spread.

“Public health measures, including vaccination, mask-wearing, and social distancing, represent the primary strategies for mitigating transmission of SARS-CoV-2,” said Yale Professor Robert Dubrow, director of Yale’s Center on Climate Change and Health (CCCH) and a co-author of this study.

The researchers recommend that people living in northern regions, including New England, be extra vigilant in the Winter to prevent COVID-19 spread.

Yiqun Ma, a doctoral student in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences, is the first author of this study. Sen Pei and Jeffrey Shaman at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health are co-authors.

The study was published Monday in the journal, “Nature Communications.”

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