Country-scale analysis of high-resolution mobility patterns and infection spread
The MIT Media Lab City Science group and the Andorra Innovation Hub have been collaborating since 2015 on research related to urban programming, new mobility systems, tourism, energy, sustainability and other urban innovations. In 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the focus of our partnership shifted towards developing models and analysis for better understanding the relationship between government policies, mobility behavior and the spread of COVID-19.
All over the world, non-pharmaceutical interventions, such as mobility restrictions, have been globally adopted as critically important strategies for curbing the spread of COVID-19. However, such interventions come with immense social and economic costs and the relative effectiveness of different mobility restrictions are not well understood.
In May 2020, the Andorran government carried out a voluntary population-wide serological screening for COVID-19 antibodies (Royo-Cebrecos et al., 2020). We were provided access to the resulting serology data through our partnership with the Andorra Innovation Hub. We also have access to geolocated telecoms data for all mobile subscribers in Andorra, providing a rich source of information about how people are moving around the country. The combination of serological data and telecoms data presented a unique opportunity to better understand the spread of COVID-19 and its relationship to the mobility of the population.
The aim of this work was to analyze the changes in mobility behaviors and interactions between March and October, 2020, and to test if they were correlated with changes in transmission rate.