Author ORCID Identifier

M. Courtney Hughes:

Mahdi Vaezi:

Publication Title

Journal of Public Health Research





Document Type



Background: The outbreak of a novel coronavirus, known as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), or COVID-19, raised worldwide concern. The present study investigates the association between anti-contagion policies and the spread of COVID-19 across the United States. Design and methods: We selected the most frequently implemented COVID-19 anti-contagion policies in all the U.S. states issued from 29 February 2020. Accordingly, we modified an epidemiological model and combined it with a comprehensive statistical analysis to evaluate the policies’ individual and overall likely impact. Results: For the first time, a novel index, evaluates the associations between policy implementation and COVID-19 spread at both statewide and national levels. Our results indicate that governmental policies requiring mask use, businesses social distancing, and quarantining travelers may be most effective for controlling COVID-19 spread. Simultaneously, widespread orders like school closure and safer-at-home that can be particularly disruptive to the economy and social fabric of society may be unnecessary given their lack of association with reducing infection. Conclusions: The absence of any COVID-19 vaccines during the first several months of its pandemic necessitated using governmental policies to help stop the spread of this disease. Our index showed the association between implemented policies and COVID-19 spread, highlighting the specific policies with the greatest association-mandatory quarantine upon entering a state, businesses implementing social distancing, and mandatory mask use-and those with less association like school closure and saferat-home orders. This study provided evidence to inform policy choices for the current global crisis and future pandemics. Non-commer.

Publication Date





anti-contagion policies, COVID-19, disease mapping, mask-wearing, social distancing


The version of record of this article, first published in the Journal of Public Health Research, is available online at Publisher’s website:

Original Citation

Faghani A, Hughes MC, Vaezi M. Association of Anti-Contagion Policies with the Spread of Covid-19 in United States. Journal of Public Health Research. 2022;11(2). doi:10.4081/jphr.2022.2748

Fulltext File with Record



Department of Engineering Technology; Department of Mechanical Engineering; School of Health Studies