Evaluation of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 Transmission Mitigation Strategies on a University Campus Using an Agent-Based Network Model
Universities are faced with decisions on how to resume campus activities while mitigating severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) risk. To provide guidance for these decisions, we developed an agent-based network model of SARS-CoV-2 transmission to assess the potential impact of strategies to reduce outbreaks. The model incorporates important features related to risk at the University of California San Diego. We found that structural interventions for housing (singles only) and instructional changes (from in-person to hybrid with class size caps) can substantially reduce the basic reproduction number, but masking and social distancing are required to reduce this to at or below 1. Within a risk mitigation scenario, increased frequency of asymptomatic testing from monthly to twice weekly has minimal impact on average outbreak size (1.1–1.9), but substantially reduces the maximum outbreak size and cumulative number of cases. We conclude that an interdependent approach incorporating risk mitigation, viral detection, and public health intervention is required to mitigate risk.