While COVID-19 is a global pandemic, different countries have experienced different morbidity and mortality patterns. We employ retrospective and prospective space–time permutation analysis on COVID-19 positive records across different municipalities in Sweden from March 2020 to February 2021, using data provided by the Swedish Public Health Agency. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study analyzing nationwide COVID-19 space–time clustering in Sweden, on a season-to-season basis. Our results show that different municipalities within Sweden experienced varying extents of season-dependent COVID-19 clustering in both the spatial and temporal dimensions. The reasons for the observed differences could be related to the differences in the earlier exposures to the virus, the strictness of the social restrictions, testing capabilities and preparedness. By profiling COVID-19 space–time clusters before the introduction of vaccines, this study contributes to public health efforts aimed at containing the virus by providing plausible evidence in evaluating which epidemiologic interventions in the different regions could have worked and what could have not worked.
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