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

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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
Publication statusPublished - 12 Apr 2022

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