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In Microbial risk analysis

There is a need to evaluate and minimise the risk of novel coronavirus infections at mass gathering events, such as sports. In particular, to consider how to hold mass gathering events, it is important to clarify how the local infection prevalence, the number of spectators, the capacity proportion, and the implementation of preventions affect the infection risk. In this study, we used an environmental exposure model to analyse the relationship between infection risk and infection prevalence, the number of spectators, and the capacity proportion at mass gathering events in football and baseball games. In addition to assessing risk reduction through the implementation of various preventive measures, we assessed how face-mask-wearing proportion affects infection risk. Furthermore, the model was applied to estimate the number of infectors who entered the stadium and the number of newly infected individuals, and to compare them with actual reported cases. The model analysis revealed an 86%-95% reduction in the infection risk due to the implementation of face-mask wearing and hand washing. Under conditions in which vaccine effectiveness was 20% and 80%, the risk reduction rates of infection among vaccinated spectators were 36% and 96%, respectively. Among the individual measures, face-mask wearing was particularly effective, and the infection risk increased as the face-mask-wearing proportion decreased. A linear relationship was observed between infection risk at mass gathering events and the infection prevalence. Furthermore, the number of newly infected individuals was also dependent on the number of spectators and the capacity proportion independent of the infection prevalence, confirming the importance of considering spectator capacity in infection risk management. These results highlight that it is beneficial for organisers to ensure prevention compliance and to mitigate or limit the number of spectators according to the prevalence of local infection. Both the estimated and reported numbers of newly infected individuals after the events were small, below 10 per 3-4 million spectators, despite a small gap between these numbers.

Yasutaka Tetsuo, Murakami Michio, Iwasaki Yuichi, Naito Wataru, Onishi Masaki, Fujita Tsukasa, Imoto Seiya

2022-Mar-31

COVID-19, infection risk, mass gatherings, novel corona virus, quantitative microbial risk assessment