When is SARS-CoV-2 in your shopping list?


The pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has caused, by May 24th 2020, more than 5.3 million confirmed cases worldwide. The necessity of keeping open and accessible public commercial establishments such as supermarkets or pharmacies increases during the pandemic provided that distancing rules and crowd control are satisfied. Herein, using agent-based models, we explore the potential spread of the novel SARS-CoV-2 considering the case of a small size supermarket. For diverse distancing rules and number of simultaneous users (customers), we question flexible and limited movement policies, guiding the flow and interactions of users in place. Results indicate that a guided, limited in movement and well-organized policy combined with a distance rule of at least 1 m between users and a small number of them (15) may aid in the mitigation of potential new contagions in more than 90% compared to the usual policy of flexible movement with more users (30) which may reach up to 64% of mitigation of potential new infections under the same distancing conditions. This study may guide novel strategies for the mitigation of the current COVID-19 pandemic, at any stage, and prevention of future outbreaks of SARS-CoV-2 or related viruses.

Competing Interest Statement

The authors have declared no competing interest.

Funding Statement

Author Declarations

I confirm all relevant ethical guidelines have been followed, and any necessary IRB and/or ethics committee approvals have been obtained.


The details of the IRB/oversight body that provided approval or exemption for the research described are given below:

All necessary patient/participant consent has been obtained and the appropriate institutional forms have been archived.


I understand that all clinical trials and any other prospective interventional studies must be registered with an ICMJE-approved registry, such as ClinicalTrials.gov. I confirm that any such study reported in the manuscript has been registered and the trial registration ID is provided (note: if posting a prospective study registered retrospectively, please provide a statement in the trial ID field explaining why the study was not registered in advance).


I have followed all appropriate research reporting guidelines and uploaded the relevant EQUATOR Network research reporting checklist(s) and other pertinent material as supplementary files, if applicable.


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