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Restarting after COVID-19: A Data-driven Evaluation of Opening Scenarios
Ashwin Aravindakshan; Jorn Boehnke; Ehsan Gholami; Ashutosh Nayak.
  • Ashwin Aravindakshan; University of California, Davis
  • Jorn Boehnke; University of California, Davis
  • Ehsan Gholami; University of California, Davis
  • Ashutosh Nayak; University of California, Davis
Preprint in English | medRxiv | ID: ppmedrxiv-20115980
ABSTRACT
To contain the COVID-19 pandemic, several governments introduced strict Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions (NPI) that restricted movement, public gatherings, national and international travel, and shut down large parts of the economy. Yet, the impact of the enforcement and subsequent loosening of these policies on the spread of COVID-19 is not well understood. Accordingly, we measure the impact of NPI on mitigating disease spread by exploiting the spatio-temporal variations in policy measures across the 16 states of Germany. This quasi-experiment identifies each policys effect on reducing disease spread. We adapt the SEIR (Susceptible-Exposed-Infected-Recovered) model for disease propagation to include data on daily confirmed cases, intra- and inter-state movement, and social distancing. By combining the model with measures of policy contributions on mobility reduction, we forecast scenarios for relaxing various types of NPIs. Our model finds that, in Germany, policies that mandated contact restrictions (e.g., movement in public space limited to two persons or people co-living), initial business closures (e.g., restaurant closures), stay-at-home orders (e.g., prohibition of non-essential trips), non-essential services (e.g., florists, museums) and retail outlet closures led to the sharpest drops in movement within and across states. Contact restrictions were the most effective at lowering infection rates, while border closures had only minimal effects at mitigating the spread of the disease, even though cross-border travel might have played a role in seeding the disease in the population. We believe that a deeper understanding of the policy effects on mitigating the spread of COVID-19 allows a more accurate forecast of the disease spread when NPIs are (partially) loosened, and thus also better informs policymakers towards making appropriate decisions.
Full text: Available Collection: Preprints Database: medRxiv Document Type: Preprint Language: English Year: 2020

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Full text: Available Collection: Preprints Database: medRxiv Document Type: Preprint Language: English Year: 2020
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