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Journal Articles Nature Communications Year : 2021

Alternating quarantine for sustainable epidemic mitigation


Absent pharmaceutical interventions, social distancing, lock-downs and mobility restrictions remain our prime response in the face of epidemic outbreaks. To ease their potentially devastating socioeconomic consequences, we propose here an alternating quarantine strategy: at every instance, half of the population remains under lockdown while the other half continues to be active - maintaining a routine of weekly succession between activity and quarantine. This regime minimizes infectious interactions, as it allows only half of the population to interact for just half of the time. As a result it provides a dramatic reduction in transmission, comparable to that achieved by a population-wide lockdown, despite sustaining socioeconomic continuity at ~50% capacity. The weekly alternations also help address the specific challenge of COVID-19, as their periodicity synchronizes with the natural SARS-CoV-2 disease time-scales, allowing to effectively isolate the majority of infected individuals precisely at the time of their peak infection.

Dates and versions

hal-03136396 , version 1 (09-02-2021)



Dror Meidan, Nava Schulmann, Reuven Cohen, Simcha Haber, Eyal Yaniv, et al.. Alternating quarantine for sustainable epidemic mitigation. Nature Communications, 2021, 12 (1), ⟨10.1038/s41467-020-20324-8⟩. ⟨hal-03136396⟩
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