University of Georgia
Initial efforts to mitigate transmission of SARS-CoV-2 relied on intensive social distancing measures such as school and workplace closures, shelter-in-place orders and prohibitions on the gathering of people. Other non-pharmaceutical interventions for suppressing transmission include active case finding, contact tracing, quarantine, immunity or health certification, and a wide range of personal protective measures. Here we investigate the potential effectiveness of these alternative approaches to suppression. We introduce a conceptual framework represented by two mathematical models that differ in strategy. We find both strategies may be effective, although both require extensive testing and work within a relatively narrow range of conditions. Generalized protective measures such as wearing face masks, improved hygiene and local reductions in density are found to significantly increase the effectiveness of targeted interventions.