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Modelling COVID-19 transmission in supermarkets using an agent-based model.

Ying, F; O'Clery, N; (2021) Modelling COVID-19 transmission in supermarkets using an agent-based model. PLoS One , 16 (4) , Article e0249821. 10.1371/journal.pone.0249821. Green open access

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Abstract

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in early March 2020, supermarkets around the world have implemented different policies to reduce the virus transmission in stores to protect both customers and staff, such as restricting the maximum number of customers in a store, changes to the store layout, or enforcing a mandatory face covering policy. To quantitatively assess these mitigation methods, we formulate an agent-based model of customer movement in a supermarket (which we represent by a network) with a simple virus transmission model based on the amount of time a customer spends in close proximity to infectious customers (which we call the exposure time). We apply our model to synthetic store and shopping data to show how one can use our model to estimate exposure time and thereby the number of infections due to human-to-human contact in stores and how to model different store interventions. The source code is openly available under https://github.com/fabianying/covid19-supermarket-abm. We encourage retailers to use the model to find the most effective store policies that reduce virus transmission in stores and thereby protect both customers and staff.

Type: Article
Title: Modelling COVID-19 transmission in supermarkets using an agent-based model.
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0249821
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0249821
Language: English
Additional information: © 2021 Ying, O’Clery. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10125731
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