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© Research
Publication : PLoS computational biology

Mitigating COVID-19 outbreaks in workplaces and schools by hybrid telecommuting.

Scientific Fields
Diseases
Organisms
Applications
Technique

Published in PLoS computational biology - 01 Aug 2021

Mauras S, Cohen-Addad V, Duboc G, Dupré la Tour M, Frasca P, Mathieu C, Opatowski L, Viennot L,

Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 34437531

Link to DOI – 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1009264

PLoS Comput Biol 2021 08; 17(8): e1009264

The COVID-19 epidemic has forced most countries to impose contact-limiting restrictions at workplaces, universities, schools, and more broadly in our societies. Yet, the effectiveness of these unprecedented interventions in containing the virus spread remain largely unquantified. Here, we develop a simulation study to analyze COVID-19 outbreaks on three real-life contact networks stemming from a workplace, a primary school and a high school in France. Our study provides a fine-grained analysis of the impact of contact-limiting strategies at workplaces, schools and high schools, including: (1) Rotating strategies, in which workers are evenly split into two shifts that alternate on a daily or weekly basis; and (2) On-Off strategies, where the whole group alternates periods of normal work interactions with complete telecommuting. We model epidemics spread in these different setups using a stochastic discrete-time agent-based transmission model that includes the coronavirus most salient features: super-spreaders, infectious asymptomatic individuals, and pre-symptomatic infectious periods. Our study yields clear results: the ranking of the strategies, based on their ability to mitigate epidemic propagation in the network from a first index case, is the same for all network topologies (workplace, primary school and high school). Namely, from best to worst: Rotating week-by-week, Rotating day-by-day, On-Off week-by-week, and On-Off day-by-day. Moreover, our results show that below a certain threshold for the original local reproduction number [Formula: see text] within the network (< 1.52 for primary schools, < 1.30 for the workplace, < 1.38 for the high school, and < 1.55 for the random graph), all four strategies efficiently control outbreak by decreasing effective local reproduction number to [Formula: see text] < 1. These results can provide guidance for public health decisions related to telecommuting.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34437531