Modelling COVID-19 transmission in supermarkets using an agent-based model.

Citation metadata

Authors: Fabian Ying and Neave O'Clery
Date: Apr. 9, 2021
From: PLoS ONE(Vol. 16, Issue 4)
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Document Type: Report
Length: 5,792 words
Lexile Measure: 1450L

Document controls

Main content

Abstract :

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in early March 2020, supermarkets around the world have implemented different policies to reduce the virus transmission in stores to protect both customers and staff, such as restricting the maximum number of customers in a store, changes to the store layout, or enforcing a mandatory face covering policy. To quantitatively assess these mitigation methods, we formulate an agent-based model of customer movement in a supermarket (which we represent by a network) with a simple virus transmission model based on the amount of time a customer spends in close proximity to infectious customers (which we call the exposure time). We apply our model to synthetic store and shopping data to show how one can use our model to estimate exposure time and thereby the number of infections due to human-to-human contact in stores and how to model different store interventions. The source code is openly available under We encourage retailers to use the model to find the most effective store policies that reduce virus transmission in stores and thereby protect both customers and staff.

Source Citation

Source Citation   

Gale Document Number: GALE|A657925362