Modelling the impact of testing, contact tracing and household quarantine on second waves of COVID-19 Articles uri icon


  • Aleta, Alberto
  • Martin Corral, David
  • Pastore y Piontti, Ana
  • Ajelli, Marco
  • Litvinova, Maria
  • Chinazzi, Matteo
  • Dean, Natalie E.
  • Halloran, M. Elizabeth
  • Longini, Ira M.
  • Merler, Stefano
  • Pentland, Alex
  • Vespignani, Alessandro
  • Moreno, Yamir

publication date

  • August 2020

start page

  • 964

end page

  • 971


  • 9


  • 4

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 2397-3374


  • While severe social-distancing measures have proven effective in slowing the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, second-wave scenarios are likely to emerge as restrictions are lifted. Here we integrate anonymized, geolocalized mobility data with census and demographic data to build a detailed agent-based model of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) transmission in the Boston metropolitan area. We find that a period of strict social distancing followed by a robust level of testing, contact-tracing and household quarantine could keep the disease within the capacity of the healthcare system while enabling the reopening of economic activities. Our results show that a response system based on enhanced testing and contact tracing can have a major role in relaxing social-distancing interventions in the absence of herd immunity against SARS-CoV-2.