Elofsson A, Bryant P
medRxiv - (-) - [2020-11-17; online 2020-07-04]
In response to the pandemic development of the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), governments worldwide have implemented strategies of suppression by non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs). Such NPIs include social distancing, school closures, limiting international travel and complete lockdown. Worldwide the NPIs enforced to limit the spread of COVID-19 are now being lifted. Understanding how the risk increases when NPIs are lifted is important for decision making. Treating NPIs equally across countries and regions limits the possibility for modelling differences in epidemic response, as the response to the NPIs influences can vary between regions and this can affect the epidemic outcome, so do the strength and speed of lifting these. Our solution to this is to measure mobility changes from mobile phone data and their impacts on the basic reproductive number. We model the epidemic in all US states to compare the difference in outcome if NPIs are lifted or retained. We show that keeping NPIs just a few weeks longer has a substantial impact on the epidemic outcome.