Mitigating the spread of the coronavirus in interior spaces

Interior spaces such as restaurants, offices, stores and theatres play a critical role in the spread of the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). The SamenSlimOpen (Dutch for OpenSmartTogether) is a consortium in which Wageningen University & Research (WUR), TU Delft and Erasmus MC study the efficacy of specific measures in mitigating the spread of viruses in interior spaces. The study includes variations in how strictly people adhere to the measures.

Safely opening interior spaces

The closure of interior spaces severely impacts society. This project aims to reduce the risk of the virus spreading to such a degree that interior spaces are once again safe for use.

People do not always comply with the COVID-19 directives in interior spaces, such as the 1.5-metre social distancing rule. Little is known, however, to what degree the measures are not followed and how this impacts the spread of the virus. In this project, we study human behaviour and the characteristics of the virus. We gain insight into how the various virus mitigating measures influence human interaction. This knowledge then allows measures to be formulated that remain effective even if there are changes in the degree to which they are followed.

Road map

  1. Interaction between people is characterised based on data from crowd-monitoring systems. This includes the degree to which rules are followed and the different stages in the epidemic: before, after, and during the "intelligent lockdown".
  2. The Nomad mobility model is calibrated using this data. This model is then combined with a transmission model to investigate the propagation in interior spaces and the intervention measures' effect.
  3. Based on the abovementioned model, the SamenSlimOpen simulation tool/game is developed. Using this tool, the impact of the measures on the location's capacity and the spread of the virus is studied. This is done through crowdsourcing: the tool will be tested by restaurant owners first.
  4. The simulations with various settings and scenarios in the tool are used to identify the risk factors in the spread. This will include the degree of compliance with the measures.
  5. The SamenSlimOpen tool will become available for entrepreneurs and policymakers. Moreover, the tool can be used as a learning instrument for highschool education.
'We strive to reach a set of measures that allow a maximum usage of interior spaces with a minimal risk of spreading the virus.
Quirine ten Bosch, WUR epidemiologist

SamenSlimOpen tool that mimics viral spread

As of March 2021, restaurant owners may register to test the SamenSlimOpen (OpenSmartTogether) tool. Initially, the instrument is designed to allow restaurant owners to simulate the coronavirus spreading in their business. The tool provides insight into the restaurant's setup, interaction with and among the guests and possible spreading of the virus.

After adjustments, the tool will become available for use with other interior spaces and even with other infectious diseases.

Learn more on the SamenSlimOpen website (in Dutch)