A mathematical model of scientists from the United States showed that the coronavirus is most often transmitted in gyms, hotels and restaurants. The researchers also found that strict quarantine is not required to reduce infections.
Restaurants, gyms and hotels opened during the pandemic are most often the site of transmission of the coronavirus. This became known thanks to a study that used data on the location of mobile phones of 98 million people to model the risks of infection in various places.
Researchers at Stanford and Northwestern Universities used data collected between March and May 2020 in cities across the United States. They kept track of where users most often went, how long they stayed there, and from which parts of the country they came. They then combined this information with data on the number of cases and how the virus spread.
For example, in Chicago, a model predicted that if restaurants reopened at full capacity, they would lead to another 600,000 new infections. Approximately the same number of infected can appear from hotels and large gyms. The study found that about 10% of places in the city lead to 85% of infections.
The models have also shown that it is not necessary to declare mass quarantines to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. Masks, social distance, and restricted seating can all play a key role in controlling its spread.
For example, restricting occupancy rates on the Chicago metro has reduced predicted new infections by more than 80%. And since the restriction on occupancy primarily affected the number of visits that occur during peak hours, restaurants lost only 42% of visitors.
Scientists note that their model can suggest the best way to fight the virus without damaging the country’s economy.