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Updated Model Projects County-level COVID-19 Spread with Multiple Reopening Scenarios

An interdisciplinary team led by PolicyLab Director David Rubin, MD, MSCE, and PolicyLab researchers Gregory Tasian, MD, MSc, MSCE, and Jing Huang, PhD, alongside global experts, released new data today that shows projected COVID-19 cases by county based on when and how aggressively communities reopen non-essential businesses.  

The new data updates the model the researchers first released on April 22 and includes two additional weeks of information across the 211 counties with ongoing outbreaks that they are tracking. These updates reveal that weather is having a greater impact on the spread of COVID-19 than previously indicated. More specifically, rising temperatures appear to be reducing the risk for large second peaks of COVID-19 cases during the summer in many locations—even densely populated areas—as long as communities remain cautious in their reopening strategies.

The model now illustrates four scenarios in which social distancing practices are reduced and also considers two options for reopening: May 15 or June 1. You can view the updated model here, learn more about this project here and read a press release that explains the findings here.

Be sure to also check out PolicyLab’s COVID-19 resource center for more about our response to this crisis.