Mathematics supports Covid-19 safety for large events


IMI Director of Knowledge Exchange, Prof Chris Budd, working closely with the ICMS, delivered a three-day national intensive study group focusing on how maths can minimise the risk and impact of COVID-19. The event was sponsored by RAMP/UKRI and run by V-KEMS, was attended by 40 mathematicians from across the county, including two IMI Fellows Dr Kit Yates & Dr Lisa Kreusser and three University of Bath Maths PhD students.

Chris Budd said:

“The mathematics can play a significant role to support a huge range of ‘normal’ activities for the wider community. The focus of this study group is very current and can make a vital contribution as we ease out of lockdown. It is a perfect example of how IMI contributes on a national level to Mathematical Knowledge Exchange.”

Issues examined for mathematically based solutions included ventilation, queuing, use of facilities, crowd safety, person to person infection, singing, and transport. The four stakeholders in attendance, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Manchester Arena, Bath Rugby Club and the Church of England all brought problems which fitted into these areas, for example:

  • Use of bar facilities at half time in a rugby match
  • Queue management when making COVID checks
  • Safety in a large sung Carol service
  • Risk of infection in live street events

The open access report will be out soon and available to view on the publications page.