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R Soc Open Sci ; 8(12): 210865, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1583912


During the COVID-19 pandemic, governments have attempted to control infections within their territories by implementing border controls and lockdowns. While large-scale quarantine has been the most successful short-term policy, the enormous costs exerted by lockdowns over long periods are unsustainable. As such, developing more flexible policies that limit transmission without requiring large-scale quarantine is an urgent priority. Here, the dynamics of dismantled community mobility structures within US society during the COVID-19 outbreak are analysed by applying the Louvain method with modularity optimization to weekly datasets of mobile device locations. Our networks are built based on individuals' movements from February to May 2020. In a multi-scale community detection process using the locations of confirmed cases, natural break points from mobility patterns as well as high risk areas for contagion are identified at three scales. Deviations from administrative boundaries were observed in detected communities, indicating that policies informed by assumptions of disease containment within administrative boundaries do not account for high risk patterns of movement across and through these boundaries. We have designed a multi-level quarantine process that takes these deviations into account based on the heterogeneity in mobility patterns. For communities with high numbers of confirmed cases, contact tracing and associated quarantine policies informed by underlying dismantled community mobility structures is of increasing importance.

Front Digit Health ; 3: 655745, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1497049


The end of 2020 and the beginning of 2021 was a challenging time for many countries in Europe, as the combination of colder weather, holiday celebrations, and the emergence of more transmissible virus variants conspired to create a perfect storm for virus transmission across the continent. At the same time lockdowns appeared to be less effective than they were earlier in the pandemic. In this paper we argue that one contributing factor is that existing ways of communicating risk-case numbers, test positivity rates, hospitalisations etc.-are difficult for individuals to translate into a level of personal risk, thereby limiting the ability of individuals to properly calibrate their own behaviour. We propose an new more direct measure of personal risk, exposure risk, to estimate the likelihood that an individual will come into contact with an infected person, and we argue that it can play an important role, alongside more conventional statistics, to help translate complex epidemiological data into a simple measure to guide pandemic behaviour. We describe how exposure risk can be calculated using existing data and infection prediction models, and use it to evaluate and compare the exposure risk associated with 39 European countries.