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Quantifying the Shift in Social Contact Patterns in Response to Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions
25 Pages Posted: 13 Oct 2020More...
Background: Social contact mixing plays a critical role in influencing the transmission routes of infectious diseases. Quantifying social contact mixing patterns and their variations in a rapidly evolving pandemic intervened by changing public health measures is key for retroactive evaluation and proactive assessment of the effectiveness of different age- and setting-specific interventions.
Methods: We performed an analysis of the intervention escalation phase of the COVID-19 epidemic in Ontario, Canada. Specifically, we integrated social contact patterns derived from empirical data with a disease transmission model, that enabled the usage of age-stratified COVID-19 incidence data to infer age-specific susceptibility, daily contact mixing patterns in workplace, household, school, and community settings; and transmission acquired in these settings under different physical distancing measures.
Findings: We quantified the age- and setting (household, workplace, community, and school)-specific mixing patterns and their evolution during the escalation of public health interventions in Ontario, Canada. We estimated a reduction in the average individual contact rate from 12·27 to 6·58 per day, with an increase in household contacts, following the implementation of control measures. We estimated increasing trends by age in both the susceptibility to infection by SARS-CoV-2 and the proportion of symptomatic individuals diagnosed.
Interpretation: Inferring the age- and setting-specific social contact mixing and key age-stratified epidemiological parameters, in the presence of evolving control measures, is critical to inform decision- and policy-making for the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Funding Statement: This project has been partially supported by the Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR) 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) rapid research program.
Declaration of Interests: The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Keywords: social contact patterns, non-pharmaceutical interventions, COVID-19
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation