“Stay nearby or get checked”: A Covid-19 control strategy

Jan-Tino Brethouwer, Arnout van de Rijt, Roy Lindelauf, Robbert Fokkink

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
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This paper repurposes the classic insight from network theory that long-distance connections drive disease propagation into a strategy for controlling a second wave of Covid-19. We simulate a scenario in which a lockdown is first imposed on a population and then partly lifted while long-range transmission is kept at a minimum. Simulated spreading patterns resemble contemporary distributions of Covid- 19 across EU member states, German and Italian regions, and through New York City, providing some model validation. Results suggest that our proposed strategy may significantly reduce peak infection. We also find that post-lockdown flare-ups remain local longer, aiding geographical containment. These results suggest a tailored policy in which individuals who frequently travel to places where they interact with many people are offered greater protection, tracked more closely, and are regularly tested. This policy can be communicated to the general public as a simple and reasonable principle: Stay nearby or get checked.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-45
Number of pages10
JournalInfectious Disease Modelling
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • COVID-19
  • Epidemiology
  • Interventions
  • Lockdown exit
  • SEIR
  • Small-world network


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