Mobility and COVID-19 mortality across Scandinavia: A modeling study

SULYOK, Mihály and WALKER, Mark David (2021). Mobility and COVID-19 mortality across Scandinavia: A modeling study. Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease, 41.

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    Background In response to COVID-19, the Swedish government imposed few travel and mobility restrictions. This contrasted with its Scandinavian neighbours which implemented stringent restrictions. The influence these different approaches had on mobility, and thus on COVID-19 mortality was investigated. Methods Datasets indicating restriction severity and community mobility were examined; Google's 'Community Movement Reports' (CMR) show activity at key location categories; the Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker collates legislative restrictions into a ‘Stringency Index’ (SI). Results CMR mobility categories were negatively correlated with COVID-19 mortality. The strongest correlations were obtained by negatively time lagging mortality data, suggesting restrictions had a delayed influence. During the ‘first wave’ a model using SI (AIC 632.87) proved favourable to one using contemporaneous CMR data and SI (AIC 1193.84), or lagged CMR data and SI (AIC 642.35). Validation using ‘second wave’ data confirmed this; the model using SI solely again being optimal (RMSE: 0.2486 vs. 0.522 and 104.62). Cross-country differences were apparent in all models; Swedish data, independent of SI and CMR, proved significant throughout. There was a significant association for Sweden and the death number across models. Conclusion SI may provide a broader, more accurate, representation of changes in movement in response to COVID-19 restrictions.

    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: ** Article version: AM ** Embargo end date: 31-12-9999 ** From Elsevier via Jisc Publications Router ** Licence for AM version of this article: This article is under embargo with an end date yet to be finalised. **Journal IDs: issn 14778939 **History: issue date 27-03-2021; accepted 22-03-2021
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    SWORD Depositor: Colin Knott
    Depositing User: Colin Knott
    Date Deposited: 09 Apr 2021 11:35
    Last Modified: 09 Apr 2021 11:35

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