Scientists Test Methods To Prevent COVID-19 Transmission

Researchers to rate the different methods to prevent COVID-19 transmission, such as social distancing or creating their own social bubbles.

Researchers from Simon Fraser University decided to rate the different methods to prevent COVID-19 transmission, such as social distancing, wearing face masks, or creating their own social bubbles.

They found that the effectiveness of these methods are not similar to each other as they could vary in various settings. For example, social or physical distancing may be universally effective in reducing risks of COVID-19 transmission, but face masks and social bubbles are more situation-dependent.

They published their results in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) on November 19.

Testing the Methods

Professors Paul Tupper and Caroline Coljin, both from Simon Fraser University, have developed a model wherein they could rate the effectiveness of methods being used today to prevent further COVID-19 transmission, Science Daily reported.

They introduced “event R” which represents the number of people getting infected with the virus from one individual at an event. Looking at the different factors of the transmission, such as intensity, duration, proximity, and degree of mixing, they examined the measures taken of which among those is the most effective.

Moreover, the researchers have used data from various reports of outbreaks during weddings, parties, meals, nightclubs, restaurants, and public transit. They noted that the risk of getting infected depends on the transmission rate and the duration in a particular setting.

These events or settings were categorized into two: saturating (high probability of transmission) and linear (Low probability of transmission).

Saturating events and setting include bars, nightclubs, and overcrowded places. While linear events or settings are the public transit with face masks on, social distancing in restaurants and outdoor activities.

What Did They Find Out?

According to the report of Medical Xpress, the researchers found that the mixing and saturating settings, such as high schools, indoor workplaces, nightclubs, and bars but with strict social bubbles help reduce the risk of contracting the disease.

Furthermore, the researchers discovered that social bubbles are less effective in linear settings where mixing is involved, like outdoor activities, working spaced offices, or traveling on public transit wearing masks. Social bubbles are a group of people with who close physical contact is possible.

The researchers noted that face masks and other physical barriers may also be less effective in high probability settings because they may not have much impact on the transmission probability even if masks can halve transmission rates.

In conclusion, the researchers found out that social distancing is the universal answer to prevent further spread of coronavirus, while face masks and social bubbles may be situation-dependent.

COVID-19 is relatively new but scientists continue to do research to increase the knowledge of how to effectively stop the virus and treat the patients. Overall, there is still so much to do in many areas. The more data the scientists can gather, the better the results of their studies will be.

Originally published at Science Times 

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