The Royal Society

Supplementary material from "Trade-offs between mobility restrictions and transmission of SARS-CoV-2"

Posted on 2021-02-23 - 16:57
In their response to the COVID-19 outbreak, governments face the dilemma to balance public health and economy. Mobility plays a central role in this dilemma because the movement of people enables both economic activity and virus spread. We use mobility data in the form of counts of travellers between regions, to extend the often-used SEIR models to include mobility between regions. We quantify the trade-off between mobility and infection spread in terms of a single parameter, to be chosen by policy makers, and propose strategies for restricting mobility so that the restrictions are minimal while the infection spread is effectively limited. We consider restrictions where the country is divided into regions, and study scenarios where mobility is allowed within these regions, and disallowed between them. We propose heuristic methods to approximate optimal choices for these regions. We evaluate the obtained restrictions based on our trade-off. The results show that our methods are especially effective when the infections are highly concentrated, e.g., around a few municipalities, as resulting from superspreading events that play an important role in the spread of COVID-19. We demonstrate our method in the example of the Netherlands. The results apply more broadly when mobility data is available.


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Journal of the Royal Society Interface


Martijn Gösgens
Teun Hendriks
Marko Boon
Wim Steenbakkers
Hans Heesterbeek
Remco van der Hofstad
Nelly Litvak
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