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PLoS One ; 16(10): e0259037, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1496524


Epidemiological simulations as a method are used to better understand and predict the spreading of infectious diseases, for example of COVID-19. This paper presents an approach that combines a well-established approach from transportation modelling that uses person-centric data-driven human mobility modelling with a mechanistic infection model and a person-centric disease progression model. The model includes the consequences of different room sizes, air exchange rates, disease import, changed activity participation rates over time (coming from mobility data), masks, indoors vs. outdoors leisure activities, and of contact tracing. It is validated against the infection dynamics in Berlin (Germany). The model can be used to understand the contributions of different activity types to the infection dynamics over time. It predicts the effects of contact reductions, school closures/vacations, masks, or the effect of moving leisure activities from outdoors to indoors in fall, and is thus able to quantitatively predict the consequences of interventions. It is shown that these effects are best given as additive changes of the reproduction number R. The model also explains why contact reductions have decreasing marginal returns, i.e. the first 50% of contact reductions have considerably more effect than the second 50%. Our work shows that is is possible to build detailed epidemiological simulations from microscopic mobility models relatively quickly. They can be used to investigate mechanical aspects of the dynamics, such as the transmission from political decisions via human behavior to infections, consequences of different lockdown measures, or consequences of wearing masks in certain situations. The results can be used to inform political decisions.

COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Contact Tracing/methods , Berlin , COVID-19/metabolism , Cell Phone/trends , Computer Simulation , Germany , Hand Disinfection/trends , Humans , Masks/trends , Models, Theoretical , Physical Distancing , Population Dynamics/trends , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Systems Analysis
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 4150, 2021 02 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1091455


We employ the Google and Apple mobility data to identify, quantify and classify different degrees of social distancing and characterise their imprint on the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe and in the United States. We identify the period of enacted social distancing via Google and Apple data, independently from the political decisions. Our analysis allows us to classify different shades of social distancing measures for the first wave of the pandemic. We observe a strong decrease in the infection rate occurring two to five weeks after the onset of mobility reduction. A universal time scale emerges, after which social distancing shows its impact. We further provide an actual measure of the impact of social distancing for each region, showing that the effect amounts to a reduction by 20-40% in the infection rate in Europe and 30-70% in the US.

COVID-19/epidemiology , Cell Phone Use/statistics & numerical data , Quarantine/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , Cell Phone/statistics & numerical data , Cell Phone/trends , Cell Phone Use/trends , Data Mining/methods , Europe/epidemiology , Humans , Mobile Applications/statistics & numerical data , Mobile Applications/trends , Pandemics , Physical Distancing , Quarantine/trends , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , United States/epidemiology