Objective: Establishing a social contact data sharing initiative and an interactive tool to assess mitigation strategies for COVID-19.

Results: We organized data sharing of published social contact surveys via online repositories and formatting guidelines. We analyzed this social contact data in terms of weighted social contact matrices, next generation matrices, relative incidence and R[Formula: see text]. We incorporated location-specific physical distancing measures (e.g. school closure or at work) and capture their effect on transmission dynamics. All methods have been implemented in an online application based on R Shiny and applied to COVID-19 with age-specific susceptibility and infectiousness. Using our online tool with the available social contact data, we illustrate that physical distancing could have a considerable impact on reducing transmission for COVID-19. The effect itself depends on assumptions made about disease-specific characteristics and the choice of intervention(s).

Keywords: Behavioral changes; COVID-19; Data sharing initiative; Epidemics; Infectious diseases; Open-source; Social contact data; Social distancing; Transmission dynamics; User interface.


Authors Lander Willem, Thang Van Hoang, Sebastian Funk, Pietro Coletti, Philippe Beutels, Niel Hens

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