Using high-resolution contact networks to evaluate SARS-CoV-2 transmission and control in large-scale multi-day events

Rachael Pung*, Josh A. Firth, Lewis G. Spurgin, Singapore CruiseSafe working group, CMMID COVID-19 Working Group, Vernon J. Lee, Adam J. Kucharski

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The emergence of highly transmissible SARS-CoV-2 variants has created a need to reassess the risk posed by increasing social contacts as countries resume pre-pandemic activities, particularly in the context of resuming large-scale events over multiple days. To examine how social contacts formed in different activity settings influences interventions required to control Delta variant outbreaks, we collected high-resolution data on contacts among passengers and crew on cruise ships and combined the data with network transmission models. We found passengers had a median of 20 (IQR 10–36) unique close contacts per day, and over 60% of their contact episodes were made in dining or sports areas where mask wearing is typically limited. In simulated outbreaks, we found that vaccination coverage and rapid antigen tests had a larger effect than mask mandates alone, indicating the importance of combined interventions against Delta to reduce event risk in the vaccine era.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1956
JournalNature Communications
Volume13
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 12 Apr 2022

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