Cost-benefit of limited isolation and testing in COVID-19 mitigation

Andreas Eilersen, Kim Sneppen

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Received date: 24th April 2020

The international community has been put in an unprecedented situation by the COVID-19 pandemic. Creating models to describe and quantify alternative mitigation strategies becomes increasingly urgent. In this study, we propose an agent-based model of disease transmission in a society divided into closely connected families, workplaces, and social groups. This allows us to discuss mitigation strategies, including targeted quarantine measures. We find that workplace and more diffuse social contacts are roughly equally important to disease spread, and that an effective lockdown must target both. We examine the cost-benefit of replacing a lockdown with tracing and quarantining contacts of the infected. Quarantine can contribute substantially to mitigation, even if it has short duration and is done within households. When reopening society, testing and quarantining is a strategy that is much cheaper in terms of lost workdays than a long lockdown. A targeted quarantine strategy is quite efficient with only 5 days of quarantine, and its relative effect increases when supplemented with other measures that reduce disease transmission.

Read in full at medRxiv.

This is an abstract of a preprint hosted on a preprint server, which is currently undergoing peer review at Scientific Reports. The findings have yet to be thoroughly evaluated, nor has a decision on ultimate publication been made. Therefore, the results reported should not be considered conclusive, and these findings should not be used to inform clinical practice, or public health policy, or be promoted as verified information.

Scientific Reports

Nature Research, Springer Nature