Evaluating the effectiveness of social distancing interventions against COVID-19

The term ‘flatten the curve’, originating from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has been used widely to describe the impact of social distancing interventions.

A new study based in a mathematical model ―age-structured Susceptible-Exposed-Infectious-Removed (SEIR) model, to describe the transmission of COVID-19―, to investigate the effectiveness of social distancing interventions lasting six weeks in a middle-sized city in the US, explored four social distancing strategies by reducing the contacts of adults over 60 years old, adults over 60 years old and children, all adults (25, 75 or 95% compliance), and everyone in the population.

According with the results, authors suggest that social distancing interventions can avert cases by 20% and hospitalizations and deaths by 90% even with modest compliance within adults as long as the intervention is kept in place, but the epidemic is set to rebound once the intervention is lifted.

Besides, authors also suggest that social distancing interventions will buy crucial time but need to occur in conjunction with testing and contact tracing of all suspected cases to mitigate transmission of SARS-CoV-2.

Link to the paper: https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.03.27.20044891

Editorial Disclaimer: information published during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic may be updated frequently to reflect the dynamic nature of current understanding.

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