Space and social distancing in managing and preventing COVID-19 community spread: An overview

Ali Cheshmehzangi, Zhaohui Su, Ruoyu Jin, Ayotunde Dawodu, Maycon Sedrez, Saeid Pourroostaei Ardakani, Tong Zou

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review


The spread of COVID-19 at a large scale and at a rapid pace indicates the lack of social distancing measures at multiple levels. The individuals are not to be blamed, nor should we assume the early measures were ineffective or not implemented. It is all down to the multiplicity of transmission factors that made the situation more complicated than initially anticipated. Therefore, in facing the COVID-19 pandemic, this overview paper discusses the importance of space in social distancing measures. The methods used to investigate this study are literature review and case study. Many scholarly works have already provided us with evidence-based models that suggest the influential role of social distancing measures in preventing COVID-19 community spread. To further elaborate on this important topic, the aim here is to look at the role of space not only at the individual level but at larger scales of communities, cities, regions, etc. The analysis helps better management of cities during the pandemics such as COVID-19. By reflecting on some of the ongoing research on social distancing, the study concludes with the role of space at multiple scales and how it is central to the practice of social distancing. We need to be more reflective and responsive to achieve earlier control and containment of the disease and the outbreak at the macro level.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13879
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023


  • COVID-19
  • Community transmission
  • Public health
  • Social distancing
  • Space
  • Spatial management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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