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.
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