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The impact of contact tracing and household bubbles on deconfinement strategies for COVID-19

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

The COVID-19 pandemic caused many governments to impose policies restricting social interactions. A controlled and persistent release of lockdown measures covers many potential strategies and is subject to extensive scenario analyses. Here, we use an individual-based model (STRIDE) to simulate interactions between 11 million inhabitants of Belgium at different levels including extended household settings, i.e., "household bubbles". The burden of COVID-19 is impacted by both the intensity and frequency of physical contacts, and therefore, household bubbles have the potential to reduce hospital admissions by 90%. In addition, we find that it is crucial to complete contact tracing 4 days after symptom onset. Assumptions on the susceptibility of children affect the impact of school reopening, though we find that business and leisure-related social mixing patterns have more impact on COVID-19 associated disease burden. An optimal deployment of the mitigation policies under study require timely compliance to physical distancing, testing and self-isolation.
Journal: Nature Communications
Issue: 1
Volume: 12
Publication year:2021
Keywords:Adolescent, Multidisciplinary sciences