New Research Analyzes More Palatable Alternatives To Control
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At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, intense social distancing and lockdown measures were the primary weapon in the fight against the spread of SARS-CoV-2. New research explores if there could have been a better way. Through the findings, the researchers analyzed more palatable alternatives to the kind of social distancing mandates that threw a wrench at how businesses, schools and even family gatherings work.

The alternatives -- widespread testing, contact tracing, quarantines, certification for non-infected people and other public health policy measures -- can slow the spread. Researchers worked to develop two models. One targeted how to find infected people through active case finding.

The second model focused on a strategy of limiting exposure by certifying healthy individuals. Each model was tested independently and in combination with general non-pharmaceutical interventions.

~ Interventions were defined as behavioral or generalized interventions that can be broadly adopted.

~ When the researchers evaluated the effectiveness of only using social distancing measures, after the onset of the first wave, approximately half of the population eventually became infected.

~ When combined social distancing with general interventions, SARS-CoV-2 transmission was slowed, but not enough for complete suppression.

~ When they tested the model that actively looked for infection, they found that active case-finding had to identify approximately 95 percent of infected persons.

~ When combined with NPIs, like face masks, the fraction of active cases that needed to be located dropped to 80 percent.

Researchers looked at how to control SARS-CoV-2. They found that to successfully control viral spread, the test validity had to occur within a very narrow window of seven to 10 days. The researchers also determined that adding contact tracing and quarantine to active case finding did not drastically change the model's success.

Source:
https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rspb.2020.3074
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