Americans are getting out of their houses more, which is causing an alarming rise in COVID-19 infections in a number of states. Could quarantine bubbles reduce the risk? Epidemiologist Melissa Hawkins examines the evidence and finds that, when well done, these “quaranteams” can make it safer and provide a number of health benefits from social contact.

Also in this week’s science and research news, a social media scholar explains how bot armies are subtly manipulating what you read every day and the latest science on the long-term effects of COVID-19 and asymptomatic spread.

Martin La Monica

Deputy Editor

Quaranteams offer a way to limit the risk of infection while also maintaining social contacts and mental health. Oqvector / iStock Getty Images Plus via Getty Images

Quarantine bubbles – when done right – limit coronavirus risk and help fight loneliness

Melissa Hawkins, American University

People are turning to quarantine bubbles as a way to see friends and family while limiting the risk from the coronavirus. Research shows that this can work, but it's not easy to be in a quaranteam.

Screening for symptoms can catch some cases of COVID-19, but about people who are infected but not showing any symptoms? AP Photo/John Raoux

Can people spread the coronavirus if they don’t have symptoms? 5 questions answered about asymptomatic COVID-19

Monica Gandhi, University of California, San Francisco

There is a lot of confusion and concern around asymptomatic spread of SARS-C0V-2. An infectious disease expert explains how many people are asymptomatic and how they can spread the virus.

All is not as it appears on social media. filadendron/E+ via Getty Images

How fake accounts constantly manipulate what you see on social media – and what you can do about it

Jeanna Matthews, Clarkson University

A social media researcher explains how bots and sock puppet accounts manipulate and polarize public debate.

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