The reopening of restaurants, gyms and hotels carries the highest risk of spreading Covid-19, according to a study that used mobile phone data from 98 million people to model the risks of infection at different locations. From a report: Researchers at Stanford University and Northwestern University used data collected between March and May in cities across the U.S. to map the movement of people. They looked at where they went, how long they stayed, how many others were there and what neighborhoods they were visiting from. They then combined that information with data on the number of cases and how the virus spreads to create infection models. In Chicago, for instance, the study’s model predicted that if restaurants were reopened at full capacity, they would generate almost 600,000 new infections, three times as many as with other categories. The study, published Tuesday in the journal Nature, also found that about 10% of the locations examined accounted for 85% of predicted infections. This type of very granular data “shows us where there is vulnerability,” said Eric Topol, of the Scripps Research Translational Institute, which wasn’t involved in the study. “Then what you need to do is concentrate on the areas that light up.”
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