Research Mentor Name

Kezhong Zhang

Research Mentor Email Address

Institution / Department

Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics

Document Type

Research Abstract

Research Type


Level of Research



Background: Despite more than 60% of the United States population being fully vaccinated, COVID-19 cases continue to spike in a temporal pattern. These patterns in COVID-19 incidence and mortality may be linked to short-term changes in environmental factors.

Methods: Nationwide, county-wise measurements for COVID-19 cases and deaths, fine-airborne particulate matter (PM2.5), and maximum temperature were obtained from March 20, 2020 to March 20, 2021. Multivariate Linear Regression was used to analyze the association between environmental factors and COVID-19 incidence and mortality rates in each season. Negative Binomial Regression was used to analyze daily fluctuations of COVID-19 cases and deaths with those of environmental factors in New York, NY.

Results: In Spring 2020, a 1 µg/m3increase in average county PM2.5 concentration was associated with a 15.7% increase in incidence rate and a 9.3% increase in death rate. In Summer 2020, a 1 K increase in maximum temperature was associated with a 11.5% increase in incidence rate, but a 1.7% decrease in incidence rate in Fall 2020. For each 1 µg/m3and 1 K increase in daily PM2.5 concentration and maximum daily temperature in New York, NY, daily COVID-19 cases increase by 5.2% and decrease by 2.3%, respectively.

Discussion: The effect of PM2.5 concentration and maximum temperature on COVID-19 incidence and mortality rates varied greatly between different seasons. The temporality of COVID-19 could be linked to the seasonality of these effects. Furthermore, the significant association of daily measurements of environmental factors with COVID-19 cases and deaths warrants further analysis across multiple counties.


Analytical, Diagnostic and Therapeutic Techniques and Equipment | Computer Sciences | Health and Medical Administration | Health Information Technology | Medical Sciences | Medical Specialties | Medicine and Health Sciences | Multivariate Analysis | Physical Sciences and Mathematics | Statistical Methodology | Statistical Models | Statistics and Probability