Posted: 2021-11-02 19:00:00
During 2020, Victoria was the Australian state hardest hit by COVID-19, but was successful in controlling its second wave through aggressive policy interventions. We calibrated a detailed compartmental model of Victoria's second wave to multiple geographically-structured epidemic time-series indicators. We achieved a good fit overall and for individual health services through a combination of time-varying processes, including case detection, population mobility, school closures, physical distancing and face covering usage. Estimates of the risk of death in those aged ≥75 and of hospitalisation were higher than international estimates, reflecting concentration of cases in high-risk settings. We estimated significant effects for each of the calibrated time-varying processes, with estimates for the individual-level effect of physical distancing of 37.4% (95%CrI 7.2-56.4%) and of face coverings of 45.9% (95%CrI 32.9-55.6%). That the multi-faceted interventions led to the dramatic reversal in the epidemic trajectory is supported by our results, with face coverings likely particularly important.
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