Rapid Real-time Tracking of Nonpharmaceutical Interventions and Their Association With Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Positivity: The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic Pulse Study

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Current mitigation strategies for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) rely on the population-wide adoption of nonpharmaceutical interventions (NPIs). Monitoring the adoption of NPIs and their associations with SARS-CoV-2 infection history can provide key information for public health. METHODS: We sampled 1030 individuals in Maryland from 17-28 June 2020 to capture sociodemographically and geographically resolved information about NPI adoption and access to SARS-CoV-2 testing, and examine associations with self-reported SARS-CoV-2 positivity. RESULTS: Overall, 92% reported traveling for essential services and 66% visited friends/family. Use of public transport was reported by 18%. In total, 68% reported strict social distancing indoors and 53% reported strict masking indoors; indoor social distancing was significantly associated with age, and race/ethnicity and income were associated with masking. Overall, 55 participants (5.3%) self-reported ever testing positive for SARS-CoV-2, with strong dose-response relationships between several forms of movement frequency and SARS-CoV-2 positivity. In a multivariable analysis, a history of SARS-CoV-2 infection was negatively associated with strict social distancing (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] for outdoor social distancing, 0.10; 95% confidence interval, .03-.33). Only public transport use (aOR for >7 times vs never, 4.3) and visiting a place of worship (aOR for ≥3 times vs never, 16.0) remained significantly associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection after adjusting for strict social distancing and demographics. CONCLUSIONS: These results support public health messaging that strict social distancing during most activities can reduce SARS-CoV-2 transmission. Additional considerations are needed for indoor activities with large numbers of persons (places of worship and public transportation), where even NPIs may not be possible or sufficient.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e1822-e1829
JournalClinical infectious diseases : an official publication of the Infectious Diseases Society of America
Volume73
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 5 2021

Keywords

  • nonpharmaceutical interventions
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • social distancing
  • testing
  • transmission

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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