A traffic advisory on Interstate 5 emphasizes the “Stay Home” message. (WSDOT Webcam)
Masses of location data gathered in China show that intensive testing, tracking and restrictions on mobility are effective strategies for fighting a coronavirus outbreak. They also show that the strategies need time to work.
And although it’s still early, similar evidence suggests that the strategies are working in Seattle as well.
The evidence from China is laid out in a paper published online today by the journal Science. An international research team, led by the University of Oxford’s Moritz Kraemer, correlated mobile location data from China’s Baidu internet search company with epidemiological data from the Open COVID-19 Data Working Group.
Kraemer and his colleagues said China’s travel restrictions drastically reduced the number of cases that were traced to the outbreak’s epicenter in Hubei province from other parts of the country. Before Jan. 31, there were 515 such cases. After Jan. 31, there were just 39.
Unfortunately, the virus apparently spread through asymptomatic or “stealth” transmission for up to 14 days before it was detected in new locales.
“This is where a full package of measures, including mobility restrictions, testing, tracing and isolating need to work together to mitigate local spread,” Kraemer …read more