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New COVID-19 Simulator Aims to Guide State Back-to-Work Planning

In This Article

  • Researchers have developed an online COVID-19 Simulator that can help policymakers envision the impacts of various social distancing decisions
  • According to Jagpreet Chhatwal, PhD, lead investigator on the simulator, the tool can help facilitate more effective and faster-paced decision-making, leading to positive impacts on the evolution of COVID-19
  • As more is learned about this disease, researchers will advance their approach

Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital and Georgia Tech have developed an online tool that can help policymakers make effective public health decisions surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Lead Investigator Jagpreet Chhatwal, PhD, a senior scientist at the Mass General Institute for Technology Assessment, said with policymakers needing to make decisions quickly, their analysis shows a week's time can have a huge impact on the trajectory of the disease. He said the researchers developed the COVID-19 Simulator to inform such key decisions in this uncertain environment.

Using the most recent data for each state and infectious disease modeling, the COVID-19 Simulator demonstrates the impact of lifting or extending different social distancing measures in terms of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths across states. It also gives views of intrastate, interstate and nation-level trends for the United States under varying intervention policies.

Developing a prediction model for COVID-19 is not easy, largely because much is still unknown about the disease. The researchers note that they plan to use new data as it becomes available to advance their approach.

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Learn more about the COVID-19 Simulator

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