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Evidence about economic and social responses

 

Evidence syntheses on this webpage are organized by government sector (e.g., culture and gender, education, employment, housing, public safety and justice, and transportation). This webpage includes syntheses addressing service limitations to prevent infection (e.g., school closures), as well as those addressing interventions to reduce domestic and gender-based violence.

We continue to add evidence syntheses to this webpage as we harvest and process weekly updates from ‘high-yield, high quality’ sources of evidence syntheses and as we add new sources. More details are available about the context for the inventory, our approach to developing and maintain it, and tips for using it. Similar webpages are available for evidence about public-health measures, the clinical management of COVID-19 and related conditions, and health-system arrangements.

Broad and specific decisions Criteria for 'best evidence synthesis' Details to support relevance assessment Additional decision-relevant details Citation
Date of last search Quality (AMSTAR) rating Evidence-certainty (e.g., GRADE) assessment available Key findings
Living evidence synthesis              Type of synthesis              Type of question
                 
Children and youth services                
  To be added 2020-05-10
4/10  No  Limited evidence found important facilitators of and barriers to effective remote leadership for the delivery of social services for children and families [Review of observational studies of unknown quality conducting during and pre COVID-19 era]  No  Rapid review  Other  Wilkins D, Thompson S, Bezeczky Z. Child and family social work during the COVID-19 pandemic: A rapid review of the evidence in relation to remote leadership. Wales: Cardiff University 2020; 
Citizenship                
  Community engagement 2020-05-02
5/9  No  Community engagement to support infection prevention and control activities can take many different forms and approaches [Review of studies conducted during the COVID-19, Ebola, Zika, MERS, H1N1 and SARS outbreaks] No  Rapid review  Other  Gilmore B, Ndejjo R, Tchetchia A, de Claro V, Mago E, Diallo AA, et al. Community engagement for COVID-19 prevention and control: A rapid evidence synthesis. BMJ Global Health. 2020;5(10):e003188. 
  Civil-rights violations                
  Elections                
Climate action                
  Climate-action focused economic stimulus                
  More to be added                
Community and social services                
  Shopping and other services for socially isolated individuals 2020-09-11  4/9  No  A review of strategies to reduce wait times for essential businesses among people with limited mobility showed that several interventions have been implemented by different countries including reserved hours of operation for specific populations, online orders and deliveries  No  Rapid review  Other  Institut national d'excellence en santé et en services sociaux (INESSS). COVID-19 et mesures permettant aux personnes qui présentent des difficultés de mobilité de réduire leur temps d’attente en file devant les commerces ou les établissements (publics ou privés) offrant des services essentiels. INESSS. 2020 
  Religious services restrictions (e.g., church, mosque or synagogue)
               
  Supports for community resilience 2020-05-10
4/10  No  Limited evidence found important facilitators of and barriers to effective remote leadership for the delivery of social services for children and families [Review of observational studies of unknown quality conducting during and pre COVID-19 era]  No  Rapid review  Other  Wilkins D, Thompson S, Bezeczky Z. Child and family social work during the COVID-19 pandemic: A rapid review of the evidence in relation to remote leadership. Wales: Cardiff University 2020; 
Culture and gender                
  Stigma reduction 2020-05-20
7/9  No  Very little evidence is available exploring discrimination and stigma associated with COVID-19 infection  Yes (row content last updated on 2021-04-12) Rapid review  Other  National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools. Rapid review: What is known about stigmatization related to COVID-19 in Canada? Hamilton: National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools; 2020. 
  Domestic and gender-based violence reduction 2020-06-07
8/10  Yes  A living review has yet to find studies that measure how the COVID-19 pandemic affects mental health in ways that are associated with domestic violence Yes (row content last updated on 2021-04-12) Full review  Other  John A, Eyles E, McGuinness LA, Okolie C, Olorisade BK, Schmidt L, Webb RT, Arenseman E, Hawton K, Kapur N, Moran P, O'Connor RC, O'Neill S, Gunnell D, Higgins JPT. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on self-harm and suicidal behaviour: protocol for a living systematic review [version 1; peer review: 1 approved with reservations]. F1000Research 2020;9:644. 
    2020-04-12
4/9  No  There is an increase in intimate partner violence during pandemics, and substance use and intimate partner violence appear to be bidirectionally related [Review of studies conducted during COVID-19 era and beyond] No  Rapid review  Other  Greaves L, Brabete AC, Wolfson L, Stinson J, Allen S, Poole N. Substance Use (SU) among Women in the Context of the Corollary Pandemics of COVID-19 and Intimate Partner Violence (IPV). Ottawa, ON: Centre of Excellence for Women's Health; 2020. 
    2020-04-20
7/9  No  Psychological therapies may be effective in reducing the psychological symptoms associated with domestic violence or sexual assault, and virtual care interventions appear most effective as a supplement to or facilitator of in-person trauma-focused care [Review based on studies of unknown quality] No Rapid review Benefits and harms  Montesanti S, Silverstone P, Wells L, Ghidei W. Examining the use of virtual care interventions to provide trauma-focused treatment to domestic violence and sexual assault populations. Edmonton, AB: Canadian Institutes of Health Research; 2020. 
    2020-09-04
7/9  No  Gender inequity and violence was found to be a social consequence of mass quarantine during epidemics [Review of studies conducted during COVID-19, MERS, H1N1, SARS and other outbreaks]  No  Full review  Other  Chu IY, Alam P, Larson H, Lin L. Social consequences of mass quarantine during epidemics: a systematic review with implications for the COVID-19 response. Journal of Travel Medicine. 2020. 
    2020-07-16
8/10  No  Gender gaps in employment have probably been increased during the COVID-19 pandemic among families with children  No  Rapid review  Other  National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools. What is known about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on families with children? Hamilton, ON: National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools; 2020. 
    2020-04-01
6/11  No  Evidence suggests that online programs might help decrease the perpetration of psychological and physical intimate partner violence in motivated individuals [Review of studies of unknown quality] No  Full review  Benefits and harms  Spencer CM, Stith SM, King EL. Preventing maltreatment at home: A meta-analysis examining outcomes from online programs. Research on Social Work Practice. 2020.  
  Arts and cultural institutions 2021-01-04
7/9  No The risk of transmitting COVID-19 while singing or playing wind instruments, as well as the effects of strategies to mitigate risks associated with these activities, are uncertain  No  Rapid review  Other  National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools. What is known about the risk of transmission of COVID-19 during musical activities such as singing or playing a wind instrument, and how can these risks be mitigated? National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools; 2021. 
  Religious institutions and practices                
Economic development and growth                
  Economic resilience 2020-09-04
7/9  No  Economic challenges have been identified as a social consequence of mass quarantine during epidemics [Review of studies conducted during COVID-19, MERS, H1N1, SARS and other outbreaks] No  Full review  Other  Chu IY, Alam P, Larson H, Lin L. Social consequences of mass quarantine during epidemics: a systematic review with implications for the COVID-19 response. Journal of Travel Medicine. 2020. 
    N/A (Protocol)
n/a  No  [Protocol - results not yet available] A review evaluating the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in different countries is currently being conducted  No  Protocol  Other  Souresrafil A & Rezapour A. The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic: A systematic review protocol. PROSPERO. 2020; CRD42020193549 
  Targeted support to most affected industries                
  Interest rate reductions                
  Interest-free or -reduced loans to businesses                
  Revolving credit lines                
  Corporate bond buying (by government)                
  Government bond buying (by central banks)                
  Rent relief for businesses (by government)                
  Debt relief for businesses (by government)                
  Debt relief for governments (e.g., by IMF)                
  Tax deferral for businesses                
Education                
  Online instruction N/A (Protocol)
n/a Yes  [Protocol - results not yet available] A review evaluating the impact of web-based or virtual peer learning among university students during the COVID-19 pandemic is currently being conducted  No  Protocol  Benefits and harms  Kaur M, Sharma N, Srivastav AK. A systematic review of the beneficial and detrimental impacts of web-based learning or virtual peer learning among university students during the COVID-19 era. PROSPERO. 2020; CRD42020203553 
  Student supports N/A (Protocol)
n/a Yes  [Protocol - results not yet available] A review evaluating the impact of distance learning on the wellbeing of students in higher education during the COVID-19 pandemic is currently being conducted  No  Protocol  Other  Czakert JP, Ballesteiros GP, Berger R. The impact of distance teaching and learning on the well-being of teachers and students in higher education - a systematic review of covid-19-related research. PROSPERO. 2021;CRD42021229211. 
  Instructor supports N/A (Protocol)
n/a Yes  [Protocol - results not yet available] A review evaluating the impact of distance learning on the wellbeing of teachers in higher education during the COVID-19 pandemic is currently being conducted  No  Protocol  Other  Czakert JP, Ballesteiros GP, Berger R. The impact of distance teaching and learning on the well-being of teachers and students in higher education - a systematic review of covid-19-related research. PROSPERO. 2021;CRD42021229211. 
  Classroom changes N/A (Protocol)
n/a Yes  [Protocol - results not yet available] A review on the effectiveness of school practices to promote social distancing for COVID-19 in schools is currently being conducted Yes (row content last updated on 2020-12-07) Protocol  Benefits and harms  Pena J, Gonzalez C, Cuadrado C, Rada G. School Practices to Promote Social Distancing for COVID-19: a Living Systematic Review Protocol. PROSPERO 2020; CRD42020180701. 
  School changes 2021-02-24
8/10  No  When infection prevention and control measures are in place and adhered to, the risk of transmission among children in schools and daycares, and from children to adults more generally is probably low Yes (row content last updated on 2021-04-12) Rapid review  Other  National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools. Living Rapid Review Update 13: What is the specific role of daycares and schools in COVID-19 transmission? Hamilton, ON: National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools; 2020.
    2020-07-14
9/11  No  Insufficient evidence was found on the risks of COVID-19 transmission in schools, but some indication that there is a lower infection attack rate among students compared to school staff [Review of observational studies] Yes (row content last updated on 2021-04-12) Full review  Other  Wei X, Xue L, Marshall D, Yazhou H, Amir K, Zhongyu L, et al. What is the evidence for transmission of COVID-19 by children in schools? A living systematic review. medRxiv. 2020.  
    2020-06-10
5/9  No  Whereas the effects of closing schools are uncertain, children appear to be less likely to be infected by SARS-CoV-2 at schools compared to home settings  Yes (row content last updated on 2021-04-12) Rapid review  Other  COVID-19 Scientific Advisory Group. What role might children play in community SARS-CoV-2 transmission? What measures might mitigate potential additional risk of transmission of COVID-19 related to school and daycare reopening? Calgary, AB: Alberta Health Services; 2020. 
  Skill re-development programs                
  Service planning for 'return to normal'  2020-07-01  5/9  No  Local context and circumstances surrounding community outbreaks should be considered when easing school lockdown restrictions, and when developing and implementing mitigation strategies and public-health measures [Review of observational studies of unknown quality]  No Full review  Other  D'angelo D, Sinopoli A, Napoletano A, Gianola S, Castellini G, Del Monaco A, et al. Strategies to exiting the COVID-19 lockdown for workplace and school: A scoping review. Safety Science. 2021.  
Employment                
  Worker supports 2020-07-16  8/10  No  The COVID-19 pandemic has probably impacted families with children by reducing the number of working hours, especially for female caregivers  No  Rapid review  Other  National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools. What is known about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on families with children? Hamilton, ON: National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools; 2020. 
    2020-05-05
6/10  No  Significant variation was found among studies evaluating the impacts of working at home on individuals' mental and physical health, however communication between managers and colleagues as well as financial compensation might be useful to mitigate any potential risks associated with remote work [Review of observational studies conducted during before COVID-19 pandemic]  No  Rapid review  Other  Oakman J, Kinsman N, Stuckey R, Graham M, Weale V. A rapid review of mental and physical health effects of working at home: How do we optimise health? BMC Public Health. 2020;20(1):1825. 
  Workplace changes N/A (Protocol)
n/a  No  [Protocol - results not yet available] A review exploring work environments during epidemic or pandemic outbreaks is currently being conducted  No  Protocol  Other  Nyberg A, Rajaleid K, Demmelmaier I. The work environment during epidemic or pandemic outbreak – A systematic review. PROSPERO. 2021; CRD42021229165 
  Building changes                
  Service planning for 'return to normal'
2020-07-01
5/9  No  Local context and circumstances surrounding community outbreaks should be considered when easing workplace lockdown restrictions, and when developing and implementing mitigation strategies and public-health measures [Review of observational studies of unknown quality]  No Full review  Other  D'angelo D, Sinopoli A, Napoletano A, Gianola S, Castellini G, Del Monaco A, et al. Strategies to exiting the COVID-19 lockdown for workplace and school: A scoping review. Safety Science. 2021.  
Energy supply                
  To be added                
Environmental conservation                
  Fire bans due to limitations in and risk for fire-fighting personnel                
  More to be added                
Financial protection                
  Income replacement                
  Wage subsidies for essential workers                
  Rent deferral for citizens                
  Debt relief for citizens                
  Tax deferral for citizens                
  Financial-scam prevention                
  Broader consumer protection                
Food safety and security                
  Agricultural processes                
  Food processing plant design                
  Food transportation adjustments                
  Food shopping changes                
  Food handling practices                
  Household food security
N/A (Protocol)
n/a  No  [Protocol - results not yet available] A review evaluating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on food security is currently being conducted  No  Protocol  Views and experiences Doustmohammadian A, Kasaii MS, Alibeyk S, Saryazdi M. The impact of COVID-19 on food security: A systematic review and meta-analysis protocol. PROSPERO. 2020; CRD42020185843  
  Food handling practices
               
Government services                
  Transitioning to e-services                
  More to be added                
Housing                
  Homeless shelters 2020-07-27
8/10  No  Higher rates of infections have been consistently found in congregate settings such as shelters  compared to community settings  Yes (row content last updated on 2021-04-12) Rapid review Other  National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools. What factors increase the risk of COVID-19 outbreaks in congregate living settings? How do outcomes compare to outbreaks in community settings?Hamilton, ON: National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools; 2020. 
  Other congregate living environments 2020-07-27
8/10  No  Higher rates of infections have been consistently found in congregate settings (e.g., shelters, prisons and others) compared to community settings  Yes (row content last updated on 2021-04-12) Rapid review  Other  National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools. What factors increase the risk of COVID-19 outbreaks in congregate living settings? How do outcomes compare to outbreaks in community settings?Hamilton, ON: National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools; 2020. 
  Housing alternatives when quarantine or physical distancing is needed N/A (Protocol)
n/a  No  [Protocol - no results yet available] A review exploring mitigation strategies among people experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic is currently being conducted  No  Protocol  Other  Zhu A, Bruketa E, Orkin A, Svoboda T, Baral S. A systematic review of COVID-19 mitigation strategies among people experiencing homelessness. PROSPERO. 2020; CRD42020208964. 
Infrastructure                
  Broadband internet access                
  Cyber-security protocols for governments and businesses (see financial protection for protecting citizens from financial scams)                
  Green-space re-allocations to accommodate physical distancing                
  Road-space re-allocations to accommodate physical distancing                
Natural resources                
  Price collapses                
  Distribution difficulties                
Public safety and justice                
  Curfews                
  Enforcement of public-health measures






 
  Public demonstrations                
  Police work in pandemics  Not specified
4/9  No  Natural disasters and public-health emergencies might affect police-community relations, the mental health of police officers, cause disruption of interorganizational departments, and influence inter-agency cooperation [Review of studies conducted during COVID-19 era and beyond] No  Full review  Other  Laufs J, Waseem Z. Policing in pandemics: A systematic review and best practices for police response to COVID-19. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction. 2020;51:101812. 
  Prisons 2020-07-27
8/10  No  Higher rates of infections have been consistently found in congregate settings such as prisons compared to community settings Yes (row content last updated on 2021-04-12) Rapid review  Other  National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools. What factors increase the risk of COVID-19 outbreaks in congregate living settings? How do outcomes compare to outbreaks in community settings?Hamilton, ON: National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools; 2020. 
Recreation                
  Public spaces like parks                
  Private spaces like gyms 2021-03-26 8/9 No Synthesis pending
Yes (row content last updated on 2021-03-29) Full review Benefits and harms COVID NMA. Social Distancing at Sports Training vs No Access to Sports Training Facilities. 2020.
    2020-10-20
7/10 No  The risk of COVID-19 transmission in indoor physical activity settings, such as gyms and fitness centres is uncertain No  Rapid review  Other  National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools. Rapid review: What is known about the risk of COVID-19 transmission across different indoor settings in the community such as restaurants and gyms? Hamilton, ON: National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools. 2020; 
Transportation                
  Quarantining travellers 2020-06-23
7/10  Yes  The effectiveness of quarantining individuals travelling from a country with a declared outbreak is uncertain  Yes (row content last updated on 2021-04-12) Rapid review  Other  Nussbaumer-Streit B, Mayr V, Dobrescu AIulia, Chapman A, Persad E, Klerings I, et al. Quarantine alone or in combination with other public health measures to control COVID‐19: A rapid review. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2020;(4)CD013574. 
  Public transportation rules 2020-07-29
8/11  No  A systematic review assessing the effect of physical distancing measures on mental health showed that closures of public transportation appear to be associated with an increase in anxiety levels  No  Full review  Other  Castaldelli-Maia JM, Marziali ME, Lu Z, Martins SS. Investigating the effect of national government physical distancing measures on depression and anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic through meta-analysis and meta-regression. 2020. 
  Private transportation restrictions 2021-02-26
8/9  Yes  Whereas the majority of the available evidence is uncertain and coming from the pre-COVID era, studies suggest that restricting cross-border travel may reduce the number of imported and exported cases of COVID-19, and reduce the acceleration of epidemic progression No  Rapid review  Benefits and harms  Burns J, Movsisyan A, Stratil JM, Coenen M, Emmert-Fees KMF, Geffert K, et al. Travel‐related control measures to contain the COVID‐19 pandemic: A rapid review. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.2020;(9):Art. No.: CD013717. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD013717.
    2020-04-01
5/9  No  A systematic review assessing international public health responses to the COVID-19, MERS and SARS pandemics found that flight suspensions were one of the common management decisions made by governments  No  Rapid review  Other  Tabari P, Amini M, Moghadami M, Moosavi M. International public health responses to COVID-19 outbreak: A rapid review. Iranian Journal of Medical Sciences. 2020;45(3):157-169. 
    2020-06-01
5/9  No  Evidence suggests that domestic or international travel bans played an important role in mitigating the spread of infection during the early phases of the pandemic, but that this effectiveness was short lived [Review of observational studies of low quality] No  Rapid review  Benefits and harms  Grepin KA, Ho TL, Liu Z, Marion S, Piper J, Worsnop CZ, et al. Evidence of the effectiveness of travel-related measures during the early phase of the COVID-19 pandemic: A rapid systematic review. medRxiv. 2020.  

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