|Title||Role of Heterogeneous Transmission in the Decline of COVID-19 Cases During Winter of 2020/2021 in Massachusetts|
|Year of Publication||2021|
|Authors||Choi, Y.-W., Castro, M. C. & Eltahir, E. A. B.|
Heterogeneity in transmission of COVID-19 is a significant multiscale phenomenon. However, the role of this heterogeneity in shaping the overall dynamics of disease transmission is not well understood.
To investigate the role of heterogeneous transmission among different towns in Massachusetts in shaping the dynamics of COVID-19 transmission, especially the recent decline during winter of 2020/2021.
Design, Setting, Participants:
Analysis of COVID-19 data collected and archived by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
The entire population of the state of Massachusetts is exposed to the virus responsible for COVID-19, to varying degrees. This study quantifies this variation.
Main outcome measures:
Weekly observations, by town, on confirmed COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts, during the period (April 15th, 2020 to February 9th 2021).
The relative decline in COVID-19 cases, during January 12th, 2021 to February 9th, 2021, in the group of towns with higher total accumulated cases in the period before January 12th, 2021 is significantly larger than the corresponding relative decline in the group of towns with lower accumulated cases during the same period.
Conclusions and Relevance:
Heterogeneous nature of transmission is playing a significant role in shaping the rapid recent decline (January 12th to February 9th, 2021) in reported cases in Massachusetts, and probably around the country. These findings are relevant to how we estimate the threshold defining herd immunity, suggesting that we should account for effects due to heterogeneity.