University of Washington
As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to expand, policymakers are striving to balance the combinations of nonpharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) to keep people safe and minimize social disruptions. We developed and calibrated an agent-based simulation to model COVID-19 outbreaks in the greater Seattle area. The model simulated NPIs, including social distancing, face mask use, school closure, testing, and contact tracing with variable compliance and effectiveness to identify optimal NPI combinations that can control the spread of the virus in a large urban area. Results highlight the importance of at least 75% face mask use to relax social distancing and school closure measures while keeping infections low. It is important to relax NPIs cautiously during vaccine rollout in 2021.