Facebook data could map COVID transmission risk in Aussie outbreaks
Facebook's mobility data could be used to estimate the spread of COVID-19 transmission risk from locations where
active cases have been identified, say Australian researchers. The team used the data, which tells them the number of people moving between locations occupied in subsequent 8-hour intervals, to look back at three recent outbreaks: Cedar Meats in Brimbank, Victoria; The crossroads hotel in Western Sydney; and the Victorian second wave. Their results indicate that aggregate mobility data can be a useful tool in estimating COVID-19 transmission risk.
Journal/conference: Journal of the Royal Society Interface
Link to research (DOI): 10.1098/rsif.2020.0657
Organisation/s: The University of Melbourne, The University of Adelaide, Victorian Government, Monash University, The University of New South Wales
Funder: This work was supported in part by and NHMRC project
grant no. (APP1165876), an NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence (APP1170960), and the Victoria State Government Department of Health and Human Services
The Royal Society
Risk mapping for COVID-19 outbreaks in Australia using mobility data
Journal of the Royal Society Interface
COVID-19 is highly transmissible and containing outbreaks requires a rapid and effective response. Because infection may be spread by people who are pre-symptomatic or asymptomatic, substantial undetected transmission is likely to occur before clinical cases are diagnosed. Thus, when outbreaks occur there is a need to anticipate which populations and locations are at heightened risk of exposure. In this work, we present and evaluate a simple procedure for producing spatial transmission risk assessments from near-real-time population mobility data. We validate our estimates against three well-documented COVID-19 outbreaks in Australia.
The Royal Society