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      Applying a Pedestrian Level of Service in the Context of Social Distancing: The Case of the City of Madrid

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      International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
      MDPI AG

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          Abstract

          During the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a lot of discussion about keeping interpersonal distance to prevent the virus from spreading. To keep this interpersonal distance, authorities at different levels have taken measures to reduce people’s interactions, such as reducing capacities, curfews, pop-up cycle lanes, temporary pedestrianisation, and lockdowns. Many of these temporary measures have been perceived from a static view. Nevertheless, in a scenario of “new normality” or in the face of a possible new pandemic, the amount of data (big data) generated by different sources, such as sensors, in large cities has extraordinary potential to be used together with tactical urbanism for quick adaptation. The aim of this study was to gain insight into the aforementioned issues by analysing spatio-temporal patterns of pedestrian mobility and developing a variation of the pedestrian level of service measure; the pandemic pedestrian level of service (P-PLOS). This measure provides a dynamic view of pavement capacities according to the interpersonal distance recommendations during the pandemic. P-PLOS was tested in the city of Madrid based on the pedestrian counter data that was provided by the local government through its open data website. We found that the application of P-PLOS, together with street design, allows for knowing where and when it is necessary to take tactical urbanism measures in order to maintain or improve the level of service, as well as where it is necessary to take measures to reduce pedestrian flow.

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          Most cited references36

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          Physical distancing, face masks, and eye protection to prevent person-to-person transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19: a systematic review and meta-analysis

          Summary Background Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) causes COVID-19 and is spread person-to-person through close contact. We aimed to investigate the effects of physical distance, face masks, and eye protection on virus transmission in health-care and non-health-care (eg, community) settings. Methods We did a systematic review and meta-analysis to investigate the optimum distance for avoiding person-to-person virus transmission and to assess the use of face masks and eye protection to prevent transmission of viruses. We obtained data for SARS-CoV-2 and the betacoronaviruses that cause severe acute respiratory syndrome, and Middle East respiratory syndrome from 21 standard WHO-specific and COVID-19-specific sources. We searched these data sources from database inception to May 3, 2020, with no restriction by language, for comparative studies and for contextual factors of acceptability, feasibility, resource use, and equity. We screened records, extracted data, and assessed risk of bias in duplicate. We did frequentist and Bayesian meta-analyses and random-effects meta-regressions. We rated the certainty of evidence according to Cochrane methods and the GRADE approach. This study is registered with PROSPERO, CRD42020177047. Findings Our search identified 172 observational studies across 16 countries and six continents, with no randomised controlled trials and 44 relevant comparative studies in health-care and non-health-care settings (n=25 697 patients). Transmission of viruses was lower with physical distancing of 1 m or more, compared with a distance of less than 1 m (n=10 736, pooled adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 0·18, 95% CI 0·09 to 0·38; risk difference [RD] −10·2%, 95% CI −11·5 to −7·5; moderate certainty); protection was increased as distance was lengthened (change in relative risk [RR] 2·02 per m; p interaction=0·041; moderate certainty). Face mask use could result in a large reduction in risk of infection (n=2647; aOR 0·15, 95% CI 0·07 to 0·34, RD −14·3%, −15·9 to −10·7; low certainty), with stronger associations with N95 or similar respirators compared with disposable surgical masks or similar (eg, reusable 12–16-layer cotton masks; p interaction=0·090; posterior probability >95%, low certainty). Eye protection also was associated with less infection (n=3713; aOR 0·22, 95% CI 0·12 to 0·39, RD −10·6%, 95% CI −12·5 to −7·7; low certainty). Unadjusted studies and subgroup and sensitivity analyses showed similar findings. Interpretation The findings of this systematic review and meta-analysis support physical distancing of 1 m or more and provide quantitative estimates for models and contact tracing to inform policy. Optimum use of face masks, respirators, and eye protection in public and health-care settings should be informed by these findings and contextual factors. Robust randomised trials are needed to better inform the evidence for these interventions, but this systematic appraisal of currently best available evidence might inform interim guidance. Funding World Health Organization.
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            Respiratory virus shedding in exhaled breath and efficacy of face masks

            We identified seasonal human coronaviruses, influenza viruses and rhinoviruses in exhaled breath and coughs of children and adults with acute respiratory illness. Surgical face masks significantly reduced detection of influenza virus RNA in respiratory droplets and coronavirus RNA in aerosols, with a trend toward reduced detection of coronavirus RNA in respiratory droplets. Our results indicate that surgical face masks could prevent transmission of human coronaviruses and influenza viruses from symptomatic individuals.
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              • Record: found
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              Identifying airborne transmission as the dominant route for the spread of COVID-19

              Significance We have elucidated the transmission pathways of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) by analyzing the trend and mitigation measures in the three epicenters. Our results show that the airborne transmission route is highly virulent and dominant for the spread of COVID-19. The mitigation measures are discernable from the trends of the pandemic. Our analysis reveals that the difference with and without mandated face covering represents the determinant in shaping the trends of the pandemic. This protective measure significantly reduces the number of infections. Other mitigation measures, such as social distancing implemented in the United States, are insufficient by themselves in protecting the public. Our work also highlights the necessity that sound science is essential in decision-making for the current and future public health pandemics.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                (View ORCID Profile)
                Journal
                IJERGQ
                International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
                IJERPH
                MDPI AG
                1660-4601
                November 2021
                October 20 2021
                : 18
                : 21
                : 11037
                Article
                10.3390/ijerph182111037
                34769556
                a423a769-0b61-4b77-84a5-6e7edd1d5ca6
                © 2021

                https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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