Rapid real-time tracking of non-pharmaceutical interventions and their association SARS-CoV-2 positivity: The COVID-19 Pandemic Pulse Study.


Current mitigation strategies for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) rely on population-wide adoption of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs). Collecting demographically and geographically resolved data on NPIs and their association with SARS-CoV-2 infection history can provide critical information related to reopening geographies.

Using a rapid cost-efficient approach, we highlight the role of movement and social distancing on SARS-CoV-2 transmission risk. Continued monitoring of NPI uptake, access to testing, and the subsequent impact on SARS-CoV-2 transmission will be critical for pandemic control and decisions about reopening geographies.

Median age of the sample was 43 years and 45% were men; Whites and Blacks/African Americans represented 60% and 23%, respectively. Overall, 96% of the sample reported traveling outside their home for non-employment related services: most commonly cited reasons were essential services (92%) and visiting friends/family (66%). Use of public transport was reported by 18% of respondents. 68% reported always social distancing indoors and 53% always wearing masks indoors; indoor social distancing was significantly less common among younger vs. older individuals, and race/ethnicity and income were significantly associated with mask use (p<0.05 for all). 55 participants (5.3%) self-reported ever testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 with strong dose-response relationships between movement frequency and SARS-CoV-2 positivity that were significantly attenuated by social distancing. In multivariable analysis, history of SARS-CoV-2 infection was negatively associated with the practice of social distancing (adjusted Odd Ratio [aOR]: 0.10; 95% Confidence Interval: 0.03 - 0.33); the only travel associated with higher likelihood of SARS-CoV-2 infection was use of public transport (aOR for 7 or more times vs. never: 4.29) and visiting a place of worship (aOR for 3 or more times vs. never: 16.0) after adjusting for social distancing.

We sampled 1,030 individuals in Maryland from June 17 - June 28, 2020 to capture socio-demographically and geographically resolved information about NPI adoption, access to SARS-CoV-2 testing, and examine associations with self-reported SARS-CoV-2 positivity.

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