Another month? Computer Modelers Estimate How Long Coronavirus Stops Should Last

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Epidemiologists at the University of Washington, who have implemented a widely monitored model for the future development of the coronavirus epidemic, have translated these projections into suggested time frames to ease strict home-based housing orders across the country.

Governor Jay Inslee’s Stay at Home, Stay Healthy command expires today. “Data-reactid =” 25 “> For Washington State, this period is the week of May 18, two weeks longer than the current order expiration date” Stay home, stay healthy “From Governor Jay Inslee.

UW Institute for Metrology and Health Assessment, four states – Montana, Vermont, West Virginia and Hawaii – may ease restrictions the week of May 4. Other states, ranging from Massachusetts and North Dakota to Arizona, may have to wait until the week of June 8 or later. . “Data-reactid =” 26 “> Based on current projections from the UW Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, four states – Montana, Vermont, West Virginia and Hawaii – could ease restrictions as soon as the week of May 4. Other states, ranging from Massachusetts and North Dakota to Arizona, may have to wait until the week of June 8 or later.

These scheduled dates could change, of course, depending on how the institute fine-tunes its models, which it has done repeatedly over the past month. And finally, it is up to the governors of the country, not the researchers, to determine how strict their social removal policies are.

three-phase process. Some states, such as Washington, Oregon and California, have agreed to coordinate their policies to relax the restrictions. “Data-reactid =” 28 “> The White House has urged governors to start” opening “some states by May 1 as part of a three-phase process. Some states, such as Washington, Oregon and California have agreed to coordinate their policies to relax the restrictions.

The latest COVID-19 developments in Seattle and the world of technology “data-reactid =” 29 “> Coronavirus Live Updates: the latest COVID-19 developments in Seattle and the world of technology

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation has recognized that there would likely be state-to-state variations in the way restrictions are relaxed, just as there were state-to-state variations in the timing and extent of closings.

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p class = “canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm” type = “text” content = “” Each state is different “, Christopher Christopher, director of the ‘IHME Murray said in a statement. “Each state has a different public health system and different capacities. It is not a “decision for all” situation. “” Data-reactid = “31”> “Every state is different,” said IHME director Christopher Murray in a press release. “Each state has a different public health system, and different capacities. It is not a “decision for all” situation. “

The IHME based its projections for relaxing restrictions on the estimated time frame for the COVID-19 infection rate to fall below one new infection per million people in a given state. The institute said that “a conservative estimate of the number of infections that each site could reasonably try to identify through active case detection and contact tracing to prevent the resurgence of COVID-19”.

it is likely to take more than a month before these resources are sufficiently available. “Data-reactid =” 33 “> The calendar is accompanied by caveats: for example, its projections assume that states will have adequate resources for antivirus testing, contact tracing, and isolation of infected people. Earlier this week, public health officials in the Seattle area said it would likely be more than a month before these resources were available.

large gatherings may have to be excluded until a vaccine is available, which could take a year or more. “Data-reactid =” 34 “> In addition, we will have to continue to restrict large gatherings. Earlier this month, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates – whose foundation has been at the forefront of global health issues for years – said that large gatherings could be ruled out until that a vaccine is available, which could take a year or more.

Murray said the timeframe for easing the restrictions is becoming clearer largely because the restrictions have been so effective. Computer modeling of mobility patterns, based on cellphone location data, suggests that social contact has declined more than expected, particularly in the South.

“We are seeing the numbers go down because some state and local governments, and just as importantly, individuals across the country have come together to protect their families, neighbors, friends and colleagues by reducing physical contact,” said said Murray.

Looking ahead, Murray said it would be important for public health officials to monitor the effects of easing restrictions.

“Relaxing social distance too soon carries great risks of the resurgence of new infections,” he said. “No one wants to see this vicious circle repeat itself. “

swinging up to 162,000, settling 81,000, rising to 93,700, falling around 60,000, rising to 68,000, and falling back to 60,000. Today’s updated projection estimates the number of deaths at 4 August at 60,308. “data-reactid =” 40 “> In recent days, the Institute’s projections have drawn criticism from other epidemiologists. These critics point to the volatility of the model, with estimates of deaths from COVID-19 in the United States ranging to 162,000, settling at 81,000, rising to 93,700, dropping to around 60,000, rising to 68 000 and declining to 60,000. Today’s updated projection estimates the number of deaths until August 4 at 60,308.

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Some critics criticize the Institute’s unorthodox algorithm for generating the projections, while others fear that a downward variation in the projections will give policy makers false confidence in loosening the restrictions.

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p class = “canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm” type = “text” content = “” That it is used for political decisions and its results misinterpreted is a travesty before our eyes, “Ruth Etzioni, epidemiologist at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, told Stat News.” data-reactid = “47”> “The fact that it’s being used for political decisions and for its results to be misinterpreted is a travesty before our eyes, “said Ruth Etzioni, epidemiologist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, to Stat News.

In response, Murray pointed out that each computer model involves variables that must be adjusted when new information becomes available.

“By its nature, forecasts are not as accurate and reliable as the data used in modeling,” he said. “As the quality and quantity of our data increases, we will offer decision-makers a refined vision of the course of the pandemic. “

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