Alliance for Pandemic Preparedness

May 26, 2020

Super-Spreader Businesses and Risk of COVID-19 Transmission



  • [pre-print, not peer reviewed] O’Donoghue et al. classified businesses by their transmission risk based on the frequency and duration of visits and square footage of businesses pre-pandemic (2019) in 8 states (New England, New York, California). Using this information they classified businesses as potential “super-spreaders.” In a county-level analysis they quantified the relationship between the density of super-spreader businesses and COVID-19 cases and found a 1% higher density of super-spreader businesses was associated with a 5% higher rate of COVID-19 cases after controlling for population density and demographic variables 

O’Donoghue et al. (May 25, 2020). Super-Spreader Businesses and Risk of COVID-19 Transmission. Pre-print downloaded May 26 from