Scientists Created Model to Reveal COVID-19 Superspreader Venues

Computer scientists and medical researchers from Stanford University and Northwestern University, USA, developed a new model that uses anonymized location data from cell phone networks to identify high-risk venues. It also may help to test alternative paths out of lockdown.Scientist Created Model to Reveal COVID-19 Superspreader Venues

With the help of cell phone data, the researchers were able to analyze the movements of 98 million people across the United States between March 1 and May 2, 2020. They modeled the number of infections occurring hour by hour at approximately 553,000 venues, which they grouped into 20 categories.

The model showed that reopening gyms, restaurants, cafes, hotels, and religious venues lead to the largest surge in infections as in such venues the highest densities of people were observed as well as their prolonged stay there.

The scientists write in their paper: "Further model testing is needed, but given the challenges in gathering and interpreting other relevant data types, these findings could have a valuable role in guiding policy decisions on how to reopen society safely and minimize the harm caused by movement restrictions."

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