Policymakers commonly employ non-pharmaceutical interventions to reduce the scale and severity of pandemics. Of non-pharmaceutical interventions, physical distancing policies—designed to reduce person-to-person pathogenic spread – have risen to recent prominence. In particular, stay-at-home policies of the sort widely implemented around the globe in response to the COVID-19 pandemic have proven to be markedly effective at slowing pandemic growth. However, such blunt policy instruments, while effective, produce numerous unintended consequences, including potentially dramatic reductions in economic productivity. In this study, we develop methods to investigate the potential to simultaneously contain pandemic spread while also minimizing economic disruptions. We do so by incorporating both occupational and contact network information contained within an urban environment, information that is commonly excluded from typical pandemic control policy design. The results of our methods suggest that large gains in both economic productivity and pandemic control might be had by the incorporation and consideration of simple-to-measure characteristics of the occupational contact network. We find evidence that more sophisticated, and more privacy invasive, measures of this network do not drastically increase performance.
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