Modeling the impact of testing, tracing, and quarantine
Testing, contact tracing, and quarantining infected people are all tools in the effort to mitigate the spread of Covid-19. So are mask-wearing and social distancing. But what impact does each have? A study co-authored by MIT researchers finds that robust testing, contact tracing, and quarantining by household can keep cases within the capacity of the health-care system — preventing a “second wave” — while allowing for the reopening of some economic activities.
The paper, published Aug. 5 in Nature Human Behaviour, details a novel model that integrates anonymized, real-time mobility data with census and demographic data to map Covid-19 transmission in the Boston, Massachusetts area. The authors include Esteban Moro, a visiting research scientist in the MIT Media Lab and MIT Connection Science, and Alex “Sandy” Pentland, director of MIT Connection Science and a professor in the Media Lab and the Institute for Data, Systems, and Society (IDSS).