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1.
PLoS One ; 17(3): e0264805, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1793506

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Unlike previous pandemics, COVID-19 has sustained over a relatively longer period with cyclical infection waves and numerous variants. Public transport ridership has been hit particularly hard. To restore travellers' confidence it is critical to assess their risk determinants and trade-offs. METHODS: To this end, we survey train travellers in the Netherlands in order to: (i) quantify the impact of trip-specific, policy-based, and pandemic-related attributes on travellers' COVID-19 risk perceptions; and (ii) evaluate the trade-off between this risk perception and other travel attributes. Adopting the hierarchical information integration approach, in a two-stage stated preference experiment, respondents are asked to first rate how risky they perceive different travel situations to be, and then to choose between different travel options that include their own perceived risk rating as an attribute. Perceived risk ratings and choices between travel options are modelled using a linear regression and a mixed multinomial logit model, respectively. RESULTS: We find that on-board crowding and infection rates are the most important factors for risk perception. Amongst personal characteristics, the vulnerability of family and friends has the largest impact-nearly twice that of personal health risk. The bridging choice experiment reveals that while values of time have remained similar to pre-pandemic estimates, travellers are significantly more likely to choose routes with less COVID-19 risk (e.g., due to lower crowding). Respondents making longer trips by train value risk four times as much as their shorter trip counterparts. By combining the two models, we also report willingness to pay for mitigating factors: reduced crowding, mask mandates, and increased sanitization. CONCLUSION: Since we evaluate the impact of a large number of variables on route choice behaviour, we can use the estimated models to predict behaviour under detailed pandemic scenarios. Moreover, in addition to highlighting the importance of COVID-19 risk perceptions in public transport route choices, the results from this study provide valuable information regarding the mitigating impacts of various policies on perceived risk.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Choice Behavior/physiology , Perception/physiology , Transportation/methods , Travel/psychology , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/etiology , COVID-19/transmission , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Netherlands/epidemiology , Risk Assessment , Risk Factors , Risk-Taking , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires , Time Factors , Young Adult
2.
Front Public Health ; 9: 719742, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1775834

ABSTRACT

Little is known about the relationship of active travel to school (ATS) with physical activity (PA) and screen time (ST) by individual and parental characteristics among adolescents, especially in China. To address the research gap, this study aimed to explore the difference of sex, age, living environment, parental occupation and education level in the relationship of ATS with PA and ST among students of grades 7-12 (aged 10-18 years) using cross-sectional data. In 13 cities of Hubei province, China, students from 39 public schools were recruited to engage in the survey. In total, 5,898 students (response rate = 89.6%) were invited into this study. Participants were required to report their ATS (including its types), PA and ST as well as sociodemographic information using a validated questionnaire. Descriptive analyses were used to report the information of all variables. Regression models were used to analyse the relationships of ATS and its types with PA and ST. In a total of 4,128 participants (boys: 50.9%; younger adolescents: 61.9%) included in the final analysis, the proportion of those with ATS was 47.3%. Regarding the types of ATS, walking accounted for over 30%, while cycling was 13.2%. Participants with ATS were more likely to have sufficient PA (OR = 1.26, 95% CI: 1.14-1.39), especially among boys, younger adolescents and those with lower parental education level. However, ATS was not associated with ST (OR = 0.94, 95% CI: 0.86-1.01). Participants with cycling had a higher odds ratio of being physically active (OR for cycling = 1.47, 95% CI: 1.27-1.70; OR for walking = 1.18, 95% CI: 1.06-1.32). The association of ATS types with PA and ST differed by gender, age, living environment and parental educational level as well as occupations. ATS may be a useful approach to increase PA among adolescents, but this should be explained by individual and parental characteristics.


Subject(s)
Screen Time , Adolescent , Child , Cross-Sectional Studies , Exercise , Humans , Male , Parents , Schools , Transportation
3.
PLoS One ; 17(3): e0264713, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1745319

ABSTRACT

In most big cities, public transports are enclosed and crowded spaces. Therefore, they are considered as one of the most important triggers of COVID-19 spread. Most of the existing research related to the mobility of people and COVID-19 spread is focused on investigating highly frequented paths by analyzing data collected from mobile devices, which mainly refer to geo-positioning records. In contrast, this paper tackles the problem by studying mass mobility. The relations between daily mobility on public transport (subway or metro) in three big cities and mortality due to COVID-19 are investigated. Data collected for these purposes come from official sources, such as the web pages of the cities' local governments. To provide a systematic framework, we applied the IBM Foundational Methodology for Data Science to the epidemiological domain of this paper. Our analysis consists of moving averages with a moving window equal to seven days so as to avoid bias due to weekly tendencies. Among the main findings of this work are: a) New York City and Madrid show similar distribution on studied variables, which resemble a Gauss bell, in contrast to Mexico City, and b) Non-pharmaceutical interventions don't bring immediate results, and reductions to the number of deaths due to COVID are observed after a certain number of days. This paper yields partial evidence for assessing the effectiveness of public policies in mitigating the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/mortality , Transportation , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cities/epidemiology , Cities/statistics & numerical data , Data Science/methods , Humans , Mexico/epidemiology , New York City/epidemiology , Spain/epidemiology , Transportation/methods , Transportation/statistics & numerical data
4.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(5)2022 03 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1732039

ABSTRACT

Car sharing services have expanded in order to meet the new necessities of mobility worldwide in an innovative way. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, car sharing was a very popular mode of transportation among young adults in big cities. However, during this ongoing pandemic and with public transportation considered a super-spreading transmitter, the usage of car sharing is unclear. Therefore, the aim of this study, which is explorative in nature, is to investigate the usage, advantages, drivers, and barriers to car sharing during this ongoing pandemic era. To this end, 66 interviews were conducted among users of car sharing during the COVID-19 pandemic. The findings provide key information for the planning of car sharing operations and public transportation in the context of avoiding COVID-19 infection and respecting the recommendations of local governments. In addition, new emerging profiles of car sharing users in the ongoing pandemic are identified. This research provides relevant insights for both business practice and policy makers.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Automobiles , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Transportation , Young Adult
5.
PLoS One ; 17(3): e0265092, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1731606

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Community Health Workers are globally recognised as crucial members of healthcare systems in low and middle-income countries, but their role and experience during COVID-19 is not well-understood. This study aimed to explore factors that influence CHWs' ability and willingness to work in the COVID-19 pandemic in Lagos. DESIGN: A generic qualitative study exploring Community Health Workers experiences and perceptions of working during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lagos, Nigeria. METHODS: 15 semi-structured, in-depth, video interviews were conducted with Community Health Workers purposively sampled across seven of Lagos' Local Government Areas with the highest COVID-19 burden. Interviews explored Community Health Workers' attitudes towards COVID-19, its management, and their experiences working in Lagos. Data was analysed thematically using the framework method. RESULTS: Three main themes were identified. 1. Influences on ability to undertake COVID-19 Role: Trust and COVID-19 knowledge were found to aid Community Health Workers in their work. However, challenges included exhaustion due to an increased workload, public misconceptions about COVID-19, stigmatisation of COVID-19 patients, delayed access to care and lack of transportation. 2. Influences on willingness to work in COVID-19 Role: Community Health Workers' perceptions of COVID-19, attitudes towards responsibility for COVID-19 risk at work, commitment and faith appeared to increase willingness to work. 3. Suggested Improvements: Financial incentives, provision of adequate personal protective equipment, transportation, and increasing staff numbers were seen as potential strategies to address many of the challenges faced. CONCLUSION: Despite Community Health Workers being committed to their role, they have faced many challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria. Changes to their working environment may make their role during disease outbreaks more fulfilling and sustainable. International input is required to enhance Nigeria's policies and infrastructure to better support Community Health Workers during both current and future outbreaks.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Community Health Workers/psychology , Adult , Attitude , COVID-19/virology , Female , Humans , Interviews as Topic , Knowledge , Male , Middle Aged , Nigeria/epidemiology , Pandemics , Perception , Personal Protective Equipment , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Stereotyping , Surveys and Questionnaires , Transportation , Workload , Young Adult
6.
Geospat Health ; 17(s1)2022 01 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1726244

ABSTRACT

With people restricted to their residences, neighbourhood characteristics may affect behaviour and risk of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection. We aimed to analyse whether neighbourhoods with higher walkability, public transit, biking services and higher socio-economic status were associated with lower COVID-19 infection during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in Massachusetts. We used Walk Score®, Bike Score®, and Transit Score® indices to assess the walkability and transportation of 72 cities in Massachusetts, USA based on availability of data and collected the total COVID-19 case numbers of each city up to 10 April 2021. We used univariate and multivariate linear models to analyse the effects of these scores on COVID-19 cases per 100,000 in each city, adjusting for demographic covariates and all covariates, respectively. In the 72 cities studied, the average Walk Score, Transit Score and Bike Score was 48.7, 36.5 and 44.1, respectively, with a total of 426,182 COVID-19 cases. Higher Walk Score, Transit Score, and Bike Score rankings were negatively associated with COVID-19 cases per 100,000 persons (<0.05). Cities with a higher proportion of Hispanic population and a lower median household income were associated with more COVID-19 cases per 100,000 (P<0.05). Higher Walk Score, Transit Score and Bike Score were shown to be protective against COVID-19 transmission, while socio-demographic factors were associated with COVID-19 infection. Understanding the complex relationship of how the structure of the urban environment may constrain commuting patterns for residents and essential workers during COVID-19 would offer potential insights on future pandemic preparedness and response.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Environment Design , Residence Characteristics , Bicycling , Cities , Humans , Massachusetts , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Social Class , Socioeconomic Factors , Transportation , Walking
7.
Am J Trop Med Hyg ; 106(1): 17-20, 2021 11 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1703423

ABSTRACT

The current COVID-19 pandemic has affected the ability of health systems to provide essential services globally. The Darfur region, located in the western part of Sudan, has been largely devastated by the war that began in 2003 and has been drawing considerable attention from the international community. The war, which erupted as a result of environmental, political, and economic factors, has led to tragic outcomes. Collapsing health-care infrastructures, health workforce shortages, lack of storage facilities for medicines and medical products, and inadequate access to health services are some of the effects of the war. After Sudan received the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine through the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access facility, significant challenges have been implicated in the delivery, storage, and use of the vaccine in the Darfur region. Lack of vaccine storage and transportation facilities, vaccination hesitancy, inequity in the distribution to health facilities, and shortage of health-care professionals resulting from insecurity and instability have added an extra layer of burden on local authorities and their ability to manage COVID-19 vaccinations in the region adequately. Addressing the impact of COVID-19 requires an effectively managed vaccination program. In the face of current challenges in Darfur, ensuring a fully vaccinated population might remain far-fetched and improbable if meaningful efforts are not put in place by all stakeholders and actors to address some of the challenges identified.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines/administration & dosage , COVID-19/prevention & control , Vaccination , Drug Storage/methods , Drug Storage/standards , Health Workforce/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Refrigeration/standards , Sudan , Transportation/standards , Vaccination/trends , /trends
8.
PLoS One ; 17(2): e0263367, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1686100

ABSTRACT

This work presents a tool for forecasting the spread of the new coronavirus in Mexico City, which is based on a mathematical model with a metapopulation structure that uses Bayesian statistics and is inspired by a data-driven approach. The daily mobility of people in Mexico City is mathematically represented by an origin-destination matrix using the open mobility data from Google and the Transportation Mexican Survey. This matrix is incorporated in a compartmental model. We calibrate the model against borough-level incidence data collected between 27 February 2020 and 27 October 2020, while using Bayesian inference to estimate critical epidemiological characteristics associated with the coronavirus spread. Given that working with metapopulation models leads to rather high computational time consumption, and parameter estimation of these models may lead to high memory RAM consumption, we do a clustering analysis that is based on mobility trends to work on these clusters of borough separately instead of taken all of the boroughs together at once. This clustering analysis can be implemented in smaller or larger scales in different parts of the world. In addition, this clustering analysis is divided into the phases that the government of Mexico City has set up to restrict individual movement in the city. We also calculate the reproductive number in Mexico City using the next generation operator method and the inferred model parameters obtaining that this threshold is in the interval (1.2713, 1.3054). Our analysis of mobility trends can be helpful when making public health decisions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Transportation , Basic Reproduction Number , Cluster Analysis , Geography , Humans , Mexico/epidemiology , Models, Biological , Probability , Reproducibility of Results
9.
Environ Res ; 205: 112451, 2022 04 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1654404

ABSTRACT

Measurements of CO2 and counting of occupants were carried out in 37 public bus trips during commuting rush hours in Barcelona (NE Spain) with the aim of evaluating parameters governing ventilation inside the vehicles and proposing actions to improve it. The results show that CO2 concentrations (1039 and 934 ± 386 ppm, as average and median, during rush hours but with average reduced occupancy due to the fair to be infected by SARS-CoV-2 during the measurement period, and measured in the middle of the busses) are in the lower range of values recorded in the literature for public buses, however an improvement in ventilation is required in a significant proportion of the journeys. Thus, we found better ventilation in the older Euro 3+ (retrofitted with filter traps and selective catalytic reduction) and Euro 5 buses (average 918 ± 257 ppm) than in the hermetically closed new Euro 6 ones (1111 ± 432 ppm). The opening of the windows in the older buses yielded higher ventilation rates (778 ± 432 ppm). The opening of all doors at all stops increases the ventilation by causing a fall in concentrations of 200-350 ppm below inter-stop concentrations, with this effect typically lasting 40-50 s in the hermetically closed new Euro 6 hybrid buses. Based on these results a number of recommendations are offered in order to improve ventilation, including measurement of CO2 and occupancy, and installation of ventilation fans on the top of the hermetically closed new buses, introducing outdoor air when a given concentration threshold is exceeded. In these cases, a CO2 sensor installed in the outdoor air intake is also recommended to take into account external CO2 contributions.


Subject(s)
Air Pollution, Indoor , COVID-19 , Air Pollution, Indoor/analysis , Carbon Dioxide/analysis , Humans , Motor Vehicles , SARS-CoV-2 , Transportation , Ventilation
10.
Sensors (Basel) ; 22(2)2022 Jan 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1630027

ABSTRACT

This paper aims to provide a review of the electrically assisted bicycles (also known as e-bikes) used for recovery of the rider's physical and physiological information, monitoring of their health state, and adjusting the "medical" assistance accordingly. E-bikes have proven to be an excellent way to do physical activity while commuting, thus improving the user's health and reducing air pollutant emissions. Such devices can also be seen as the first step to help unhealthy sedentary people to start exercising with reduced strain. Based on this analysis, the need to have e-bikes with artificial intelligence (AI) systems that recover and processe a large amount of data is discussed in depth. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines were used to complete the relevant papers' search and selection in this systematic review.


Subject(s)
Artificial Intelligence , Bicycling , Accidents, Traffic , Electricity , Humans , Transportation
11.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(2)2022 01 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1638395

ABSTRACT

The article presents the results of a pilot study, namely a passenger survey on travel choices regarding commuting to the airport in one chosen location (Gdansk, Poland). The study aimed at establishing which factors which influenced their travel time, assessment of travel time, choosing more or less sustainable transport mode, and also single-mode or multimodal travel. Research results show that choice of the means of transport influences travel time, that the highest travel times are generated by bus and car travel and that assessing the travel time as acceptable or not depends on travel time. However, the longer the travel time, the more likely was the passenger to accept it. What is more, it appeared that a few factors influence choosing a more sustainable transport mode: the purpose of the trip, the start of the trip to the airport, place of living, and job situation.


Subject(s)
Airports , Travel , Pilot Projects , Surveys and Questionnaires , Transportation
12.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 370, 2022 01 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1617000

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 outbreaks have had high mortality in low- and middle-income countries such as Ecuador. Human mobility is an important factor influencing the spread of diseases possibly leading to a high burden of disease at the country level. Drastic control measures, such as complete lockdown, are effective epidemic controls, yet in practice one hopes that a partial shutdown would suffice. It is an open problem to determine how much mobility can be allowed while controlling an outbreak. In this paper, we use statistical models to relate human mobility to the excess death in Ecuador while controlling for demographic factors. The mobility index provided by GRANDATA, based on mobile phone users, represents the change of number of out-of-home events with respect to a benchmark date (March 2nd, 2020). The study confirms the global trend that more men are dying than expected compared to women, and that people under 30 show less deaths than expected, particularly individuals younger than 20 with a death rate reduction between 22 and 27%. The weekly median mobility time series shows a sharp decrease in human mobility immediately after a national lockdown was declared on March 17, 2020 and a progressive increase towards the pre-lockdown level within two months. Relating median mobility to excess deaths shows a lag in its effect: first, a decrease in mobility in the previous two to three weeks decreases excess death and, more novel, we found an increase of mobility variability four weeks prior increases the number of excess deaths.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/mortality , Cause of Death , Communicable Disease Control/statistics & numerical data , Transportation/statistics & numerical data , Travel/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Algorithms , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Ecuador/epidemiology , Female , Geography , Humans , Male , Pandemics/prevention & control , Population Dynamics , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Survival Rate , Time Factors , Young Adult
13.
Sci Total Environ ; 821: 152790, 2022 May 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1612001

ABSTRACT

Affordably tracking the transmission of respiratory infectious diseases in urban transport infrastructures can inform individuals about potential exposure to diseases and guide public policymakers to prepare timely responses based on geographical transmission in different areas in the city. Towards that end, we designed and tested a method to detect SARS-CoV-2 RNA in the air filters of public buses, revealing that air filters could be used as passive fabric sensors for the detection of viral presence. We placed and retrieved filters in the existing HVAC systems of public buses to test for the presence of trapped SARS-CoV-2 RNA using phenol-chloroform extraction and RT-qPCR. SARS-CoV-2 RNA was detected in 14% (5/37) of public bus filters tested in Seattle, Washington, from August 2020 to March 2021. These results indicate that this sensing system is feasible and that, if scaled, this method could provide a unique lens into the geographically relevant transmission of SARS-CoV-2 through public transit rider vectors, pooling samples of riders over time in a passive manner without installing any additional systems on transit vehicles.


Subject(s)
Motor Vehicles , RNA, Viral/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2 , Transportation , COVID-19 , Environmental Monitoring , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Washington
14.
BMC Public Health ; 22(1): 6, 2022 01 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1607365

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In the City of Vancouver, Canada, non-profit food hubs such as food banks, neighbourhood houses, community centres, and soup kitchens serve communities that face food insecurity. Food that is available yet inaccessible cannot ensure urban food security. This study seeks to highlight food access challenges, especially in terms of mobility and transportation, faced by users of non-profit food hubs in the City of Vancouver before and during the COVID-19 crisis. METHODS: This study involved an online survey (n = 84) and semi-structured follow-up key informant interviews (n = 10) with individuals at least 19 years old who accessed food at a non-profit food hub located in the City of Vancouver more than once before and during the COVID-19 crisis. RESULTS: 88.5% of survey respondents found food obtained from non-profit food hubs to be either very or somewhat important to their household's overall diet. In their journey to access food at non-profit food hubs in the City of Vancouver, many survey respondents face barriers such as transportation distance/time, transportation inconveniences/reliability/accessibility, transportation costs, line-ups at non-profit food hubs, and schedules of non-profit food hubs. Comments from interview participants corroborate these barriers. CONCLUSIONS: Drawing from the findings, this study recommends that non-profit food hubs maintain a food delivery option and that the local transportation authority provides convenient and reliable paratransit service. Furthermore, this study recommends that the provincial government considers subsidizing transit passes for low-income households, that the provincial and/or federal governments consider bolstering existing government assistance programs, and that the federal government considers implementing a universal basic income. This study emphasizes how the current two-tier food system perpetuates stigma and harms the well-being of marginalized populations in the City of Vancouver in their journey to obtain food.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adult , Food Supply , Humans , Reproducibility of Results , SARS-CoV-2 , Surveys and Questionnaires , Transportation , Young Adult
15.
Viruses ; 14(1)2021 12 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1580412

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a highly transmissible RNA virus that causes COVID-19. Being aware of the presence of the virus on different types of surfaces and in different environments, and having a protocol for its detection, is important to understand the dynamics of the virus and its shedding patterns. In Ecuador, the detection of viral RNA in urban environmental samples has not been a priority. The present study analyzed samples from two densely populated neighborhoods and one public transportation system in Quito, Ecuador. Viral RNA presence was assessed using RT-LAMP. Twenty-eight out of 300 surfaces tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 RNA (9.33%). Frequently touched surfaces, especially in indoor spaces and on public transportation, were most likely to be positive for viral RNA. Positivity rate association for the two neighborhoods and for the surface type was not found. This study found viral RNA presence on urban surfaces; this information provides an insight into viral dissemination dynamics. Monitoring environmental SARS-CoV-2 could support the public health prevention strategies in Quito, Ecuador.


Subject(s)
Environmental Microbiology , RNA, Viral/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Transportation , COVID-19/transmission , Cities , Ecuador , Humans , Molecular Diagnostic Techniques , Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
16.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 24443, 2021 12 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1585775

ABSTRACT

We investigate, through a data-driven contact tracing model, the transmission of COVID-19 inside buses during distinct phases of the pandemic in a large Brazilian city. From this microscopic approach, we recover the networks of close contacts within consecutive time windows. A longitudinal comparison is then performed by upscaling the traced contacts with the transmission computed from a mean-field compartmental model for the entire city. Our results show that the effective reproduction numbers inside the buses, [Formula: see text], and in the city, [Formula: see text], followed a compatible behavior during the first wave of the local outbreak. Moreover, by distinguishing the close contacts of healthcare workers in the buses, we discovered that their transmission, [Formula: see text], during the same period, was systematically higher than [Formula: see text]. This result reinforces the need for special public transportation policies for highly exposed groups of people.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/transmission , Contact Tracing/methods , Brazil/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Disease Outbreaks , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Models, Theoretical , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Transportation
17.
BMC Infect Dis ; 21(1): 686, 2021 Jul 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1571742

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Associations between community-level risk factors and COVID-19 incidence have been used to identify vulnerable subpopulations and target interventions, but the variability of these associations over time remains largely unknown. We evaluated variability in the associations between community-level predictors and COVID-19 case incidence in 351 cities and towns in Massachusetts from March to October 2020. METHODS: Using publicly available sociodemographic, occupational, environmental, and mobility datasets, we developed mixed-effect, adjusted Poisson regression models to depict associations between these variables and town-level COVID-19 case incidence data across five distinct time periods from March to October 2020. We examined town-level demographic variables, including population proportions by race, ethnicity, and age, as well as factors related to occupation, housing density, economic vulnerability, air pollution (PM2.5), and institutional facilities. We calculated incidence rate ratios (IRR) associated with these predictors and compared these values across the multiple time periods to assess variability in the observed associations over time. RESULTS: Associations between key predictor variables and town-level incidence varied across the five time periods. We observed reductions over time in the association with percentage of Black residents (IRR = 1.12 [95%CI: 1.12-1.13]) in early spring, IRR = 1.01 [95%CI: 1.00-1.01] in early fall) and COVID-19 incidence. The association with number of long-term care facility beds per capita also decreased over time (IRR = 1.28 [95%CI: 1.26-1.31] in spring, IRR = 1.07 [95%CI: 1.05-1.09] in fall). Controlling for other factors, towns with higher percentages of essential workers experienced elevated incidences of COVID-19 throughout the pandemic (e.g., IRR = 1.30 [95%CI: 1.27-1.33] in spring, IRR = 1.20 [95%CI: 1.17-1.22] in fall). Towns with higher proportions of Latinx residents also had sustained elevated incidence over time (IRR = 1.19 [95%CI: 1.18-1.21] in spring, IRR = 1.14 [95%CI: 1.13-1.15] in fall). CONCLUSIONS: Town-level COVID-19 risk factors varied with time in this study. In Massachusetts, racial (but not ethnic) disparities in COVID-19 incidence may have decreased across the first 8 months of the pandemic, perhaps indicating greater success in risk mitigation in selected communities. Our approach can be used to evaluate effectiveness of public health interventions and target specific mitigation efforts on the community level.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Occupations/statistics & numerical data , Social Environment , Transportation/statistics & numerical data , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/ethnology , Female , Health Status Disparities , Humans , Incidence , Income/statistics & numerical data , Male , Massachusetts/epidemiology , Middle Aged , Movement/physiology , Pandemics , Residence Characteristics/statistics & numerical data , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Socioeconomic Factors , Time Factors , Vulnerable Populations/ethnology , Vulnerable Populations/statistics & numerical data , Young Adult
18.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(23)2021 12 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1554949

ABSTRACT

South Korea's social distancing policies on public transportation only involve mandatory wearing of masks and prohibition of food intake, similar to policies on other indoor spaces. This is not because public transportation is safe from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), but because no suitable policies based on accurate data have been implemented. To relieve fears regarding contracting COVID-19 infection through public transportation, the government should provide accurate information and take appropriate measures to lower the risk of COVID-19. This study aimed to develop a model for determining the risk of COVID-19 infection on public transportation considering exposure time, mask efficiency, ventilation rate, and distance. The risk of COVID-19 infection on public transportation was estimated, and the effectiveness of measures to reduce the risk was assessed. The correlation between the risk of infection and various factors was identified through sensitivity analysis of major factors. The analysis shows that, in addition to the general indoor space social distancing policy, ventilation system installation, passenger number reduction in a vehicle, and seat distribution strategies were effective. Based on these results, the government should provide accurate guidelines and implement appropriate policies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Government , Humans , Masks , SARS-CoV-2 , Transportation
19.
PLoS One ; 16(12): e0260969, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1546975

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has been influencing travel behaviour in many urban areas around the world since the beginning of 2020. As a consequence, bike-sharing schemes have been affected-partly due to the change in travel demand and behaviour as well as a shift from public transit. This study estimates the varying effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the London bike-sharing system (Santander Cycles) over the period March-December 2020. We employed a Bayesian second-order random walk time-series model to account for temporal correlation in the data. We compared the observed number of cycle hires and hire time with their respective counterfactuals (what would have been if the pandemic had not happened) to estimate the magnitude of the change caused by the pandemic. The results indicated that following a reduction in cycle hires in March and April 2020, the demand rebounded from May 2020, remaining in the expected range of what would have been if the pandemic had not occurred. This could indicate the resiliency of Santander Cycles. With respect to hire time, an important increase occurred in April, May, and June 2020, indicating that bikes were hired for longer trips, perhaps partly due to a shift from public transit.


Subject(s)
Bicycling/statistics & numerical data , COVID-19/epidemiology , Transportation/statistics & numerical data , Humans , London/epidemiology , Models, Statistical , Time Factors
20.
Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act ; 18(1): 152, 2021 11 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1538078

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Although it is globally known that Japan has high prevalence of active school travel among children, there are few international studies on Japanese children's school travel. Moreover, only few studies have focused on the differences in their mode of travel between to-school and from-school. This study examined the associations of neighborhood built, safety, and social environments with walking to/from school among elementary school-aged children in Chiba, Japan. METHODS: We conducted an online survey with 1545 parents of children aged 6-12 years residing in Chiba between 25 and 27 November 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. A neighborhood was defined as the area of a postcode provided by the participants. Each neighborhood environment was assessed based on the built environment (new town designation, walkability, distance to school, population density), social environment (neighborhood cohesion and connection), and safety (CCTVs, a road section for walking alone, safety volunteers). Neighborhood walkability was measured using subscales of the Neighborhood Environment Walkability Scale (youth and abbreviated versions) including crime safety and traffic safety. Parents' perceived influence of COVID-19 on school commuting and after-school activities were also included in the model as covariates. Walking to and from school were separately analyzed using multinomial logistic regressions, where new towns and walkability were computed separately as explanatory variables. RESULTS: Four fifths of children walked to and from school daily. Walking to school was positively associated with crime safety, neighborhood connections, and schools sited in new towns. Walking from school had positive associations with traffic safety, neighborhood cohesion, and CCTVs, but negative associations with safety volunteers and after-school activities. The presence of a section for walking alone and perceived influence of COVID-19 had negative associations with walking to and from school. CONCLUSIONS: Recent social changes such as declining birthrate, decline in public elementary schools, and increasing after-school activities may change parental attitudes toward children's walking to/from school, and subsequently, their mode of school travel over time. To maintain the high prevalence of walking to/from school in Japan, multidisciplinary approaches involving different stakeholders from education, public health, and urban planning are required to overcome sectionalism and support this behavior in the long term.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Adolescent , Child , Cross-Sectional Studies , Environment Design , Humans , Japan , Pandemics , Parents , Residence Characteristics , SARS-CoV-2 , Safety , Schools , Social Environment , Transportation , Walking
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