Closure of Anchor businesses Reduced COVID-19 Transmission during the Early months of the pandemic

Megan McHugh, Yao Tian, Claude R. Maechling, Diane Farley, Jane L. Holl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objectives:To investigate the relationship between the closure of "anchor businesses"- manufacturing plants and distribution centers employing >1000 workers - and the daily, county-level COVID-19 rate between March 1, 2020 and May 31, 2020.Methods:We conducted a comparative, interrupted time series analysis of publicly available county-level data. Our main variable of interest was closure, indicating whether one or more of the anchor businesses within the county experienced a full or partial closure of at least 22days (main analysis) or at least 1 day (sensitivity analyses).Results:Closure of an anchor business was associated with 142 fewer positive COVID-19 tests per 100,000 population over a 40-day period. Even short-term and partial closures were associated with reduced spread.Conclusions:Temporary closure of anchor businesses appears to have slowed, but not completely contained, the spread of COVID-19.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1019-1023
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of occupational and environmental medicine
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2021


  • Business closure
  • COVID-19
  • Community health
  • Manufacturing
  • Wholesale trade
  • Worker well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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