The intensity of COVID-19 outbreaks is modulated by SARS-CoV-2 free-living survival and environmental transmission.


) and other key signatures of outbreak intensity are modulated by transmission between infected individuals and the environment. In addition, country-level outbreaks vary in the degree to which environmental transmission appears to modulate COVID-19 dynamics. Summarizing, we propose that informed models of sit and wait, environmental transmission are essential in emerging outbreaks, as they highlight how variation in environmental transmission may explain observed differences in disease dynamics from setting to setting, and can inform public health interventions.

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