Reductions in commuting mobility correlate with geographic differences in SARS-CoV-2 prevalence in New York City

Nat Commun. 2020 Sep 16;11(1):4674. doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-18271-5.


SARS-CoV-2-related mortality and hospitalizations differ substantially between New York City neighborhoods. Mitigation efforts require knowing the extent to which these disparities reflect differences in prevalence and understanding the associated drivers. Here, we report the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 in New York City boroughs inferred using tests administered to 1,746 pregnant women hospitalized for delivery between March 22nd and May 3rd, 2020. We also assess the relationship between prevalence and commuting-style movements into and out of each borough. Prevalence ranged from 11.3% (95% credible interval [8.9%, 13.9%]) in Manhattan to 26.0% (15.3%, 38.9%) in South Queens, with an estimated city-wide prevalence of 15.6% (13.9%, 17.4%). Prevalence was lowest in boroughs with the greatest reductions in morning movements out of and evening movements into the borough (Pearson R = -0.88 [-0.52, -0.99]). Widespread testing is needed to further specify disparities in prevalence and assess the risk of future outbreaks.

PMID:32938924 | DOI:10.1038/s41467-020-18271-5