SARS-CoV-2 transmission and control in a hospital setting: an individual-based modelling study.


Development of strategies for mitigating the severity of COVID-19 is now a top public health priority. We sought to assess strategies for mitigating the COVID-19 outbreak in a hospital setting via the use of non-pharmaceutical interventions. We developed an individual-based model for COVID-19 transmission in a hospital setting. We calibrated the model using data of a COVID-19 outbreak in a hospital unit in Wuhan. The calibrated model was used to simulate different intervention scenarios and estimate the impact of different interventions on outbreak size and workday loss. The use of high-efficacy facial masks was shown to be able to reduce infection cases and workday loss by 80% (90% credible interval (CrI): 73.1-85.7%) and 87% (CrI: 80.0-92.5%), respectively. The use of social distancing alone, through reduced contacts between healthcare workers, had a marginal impact on the outbreak. Our results also indicated that a quarantine policy should be coupled with other interventions to achieve its effect. The effectiveness of all these interventions was shown to increase with their early implementation. Our analysis shows that a COVID-19 outbreak in a hospital's non-COVID-19 unit can be controlled or mitigated by the use of existing non-pharmaceutical measures.

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