To better understand the potential range of epidemic outcomes in each U.S. State, we developed a stochastic model incorporating regionally specific conditions and calibrated to reported cases and deaths. We explore three social distancing scenarios ranging from increased social distancing to a complete return to normal. The model uses social distancing data and also captures hard-to-measure human behaviors such as wearing facemasks in public. The figure shown here compares three scenarios in four states.
To better understand the outbreak of COVID‑19 on a local level, we are monitoring wastewater samples from water reclamation facilities in Athens, Georgia. Wastewater surveillance is an emerging tool for monitoring disease outbreaks. Coupled with clinical surveillance, it can be used to estimate the level of viruses circulating in local population. Samples are collected weekly and tested to detect the disease-causing virus, SARS‑CoV‑2. Taken together with clinical surveillance, wastewater surveillance is intended to inform public health decisions.
Act now to prevent overwhelming hospitals
In an op-ed in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, CEID Director Dr. John Drake and ER doctor Jonathan M. Davis have called for immediate statewide interventions to avoid hopsiptals in Georgia becoming overwhelmed by surging cases of COVID‑19.
Opinion: Act now to prevent overwhelming hospitals. Guest column. Atlanta Journal-Constitution, January 29, 2021
The Top Six Things The Biden Administration Should Do About Science & Technology November 10, 2020 | by John M. Drake | Forbes.com
CEID Director John Drake writes about the significant challenges that the incoming president must address, ranging from the COVID‑19 pandemic to restoring trust in science. Read more: Forbes.com.
October 9, 2020 | by John M. Drake | Forbes.com
Universal face masking would significantly reduce the herd immunity threshold. Read more: Forbes.com.
September 26, 2020 | by John M. Drake | Forbes.com
A lot of Americans have been infected with SARS‑CoV‑2. Extrapolating from a new study suggests that the number may be as high as 60 million. Unfortunately, herd immunity is still a long way off. Read more: Forbes.com.
September 23, 2020 | by John M. Drake | Forbes.com
Investigation of a cluster of SARS‑Cov‑2 cases on a commercial airliner helps quantify the risk of in-flight transmission. Read more: Forbes.com.
September 21, 2020 | by John M. Drake | Forbes.com
Thanks to masks, social distancing and other measures adopted since March, far fewer people in the U.S. are getting infected with the flu compared to previous years. Read more: Forbes.com.
September 15, 2020 | by John M. Drake | Forbes.com
Disucussion of a new study in Nature reporting on the duration of protective immunity in four human coronaviruses related to SARS‑CoV‑2. Forbes.com.
September 4, 2020 | by John M. Drake | Forbes.com
This is the second part of a discussion about airborne transmission of COVID‑19. The piece considers how to protect against airborne transmission and what it might mean for the epidemiology of COVID‑19. Read online at Forbes.com.
September 1, 2020 | by John M. Drake | Forbes.com
August 31, 2020 | by John M. Drake | Forbes.com
John Drake discusses the evidence for airborne transmission of SARS‑CoV‑2 at Forbes.com.
August 28, 2020 | by John M. Drake | Forbes.com
Two recent CDC reports document the dsuccessful use of “bubbles” for containing local spread of COVID‑19. CEID Director John drake discusses the findings at Forbes.com.
August 21, 2020 | by John M. Drake | Forbes.com
John Drake discusses COVID‑19 on College Campuses and the Science of Epidemics Among College Students. Read the complete column at Forbes.com.
August 17, 2020 | by John M. Drake | Forbes.com
As universities across the nation reopen, CEID Director John Drake discusses testing programs instituted by various universities, as well as models developped at Yale and elsewhere to assess the effectiveness of these programs. Read the complete column at Forbes.com.
August 3, 2020
CEID researchers have modeled the effectiveness of generalized and targeted non-pharmaceutical interventions in controling the spread of SARS‑CoV‑2. Generalized policies include limiting large gatherings, wearing face masks, hand washing, enhanced sick leave policies, limiting large gatherings, and other behavioral changes not involving intensive social distancing or shelter-in-place orders. Targeted methods include active case finding, contact tracing, immunity certification, and quarantine. Because non-pharmaceutical policies have disrupted local and state economies, understanding the effectiveness of less disruptive interventions to control SARS‑CoV‑2 is increasingly important. Researchers developed two modeling frameworks to study the effectiveness of targeted strategies in combination with generalized interventions. Results indicated that the four targeted interventions studied are effective. However, generalized methods such as wearing a face mask and reduced densities were determined to significantly improve the effectiveness of targeted interventions.
See covid19.uga.edu/supression for complete details and a link to the preprint.
July 18, 2020 | by John M. Drake | Forbes.com
COVID‑19 deaths have now begun to surge following the earlier surge in case reports. John Drake discusses the ten-day average lag between case reporting and deaths and what it means for predicting daily deaths in the near future. Using the lagged Case Fatality Rate (deaths today over cases reported ten days ago), the number of of deaths over the next ten days can be estimated from daily case reports over the previous ten days. For the US, Drake predicts new deaths will hover around 1000 per day, ±500. Read the complete column at Forbes.com.
July 8, 2020 | by John M. Drake | Forbes.com
John Drake discusses the discrepancy between numbers of COVID‑19 cases and deaths in the current resurgence of COVID‑19. Drake explores four possible explanations: time lag, improved treatment, increased testing, and changing age distribution. Read the complete column at Forbes.com.
July 7, 2020
CEID director John Drake has joined Forbes.com as a contributor. His column will address general infectious disease ecology and epidemiology, as well as COVID‑19. Read his introductory column: Why Ecologists Study Infectious Diseases And What We Can Learn About Public Health By Studying Nature, published July 7.
America needs a national center for infectious disease intelligence
June 21, 2020 | by John M. Drake | The Hill
In an opinion piece published in The Hill, CEID Director John Drake made the case that the time is now to establish a national center for infectious disease intelligence to monitor trends and provide real-time interpretation of outbreak data through modeling, biostatistics, and data science.
Read the complete opinion at TheHill.com.
May 7, 2020
CEID Director John Drake discusses how COVID‑19 modeling informs public policy and mitigation efforts on Debriefing the Briefing with CBS News Washington Correspondent Major Garrett.
Listen the podcast here.
Why One Expert Is Still Making COVID‑19 Models, Despite The Uncertainty
April 17, 2020 | by John M. Drake | FiveThirtyEight.com
Read the full article on FiveThirtyEight.com.
The Center for the Ecology of Infectious Diseases (CEID) and the College of Public Health (CPH) at UGA have created a new interactive tracker that allows users to track the spread of COVID‑19 both in the US and worldwide. The tracker allows users to explore cases, hospitalizations, deaths and number of tests for every US state, as well as cases and deaths worldwide. Users can adjust the plots by choosing total or daily numbers, absolute or normalized values, and calendar date versus date since a certain number of cases occurred. The data comes from the Covid Tracking Project and the Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering.
Dr. John Drake urges swift, decisive action to curb spread of COVID‑19.
In an op-ed in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, CEID Director Dr. John Drake has called for immediate and decisive intervention to slow the spread of COVID‑19. Based on a study of government intervention in China following the initial outbreak of COVID‑19 in Wuhan, CEID researchers found a very strong correlation (90%) between how early a major intervention was imposed in a province and the ultimate severity of the outbreak there. The results show that early action yields critical gains, with every delay of 3.8 days leading to a tenfold increase in cases.
Opinion: Now’s the time to act on coronavirus. Guest column. Atlanta Journal-Constitution, March 13, 2020
November 4, 2020
CEID has released its model of spatial spread for US counties. The model looked at county populations, case counts, non-pharmaceutical interventions, commuting flows, flight volumes and Facebook’s Social Connectedness Index to build a model that describes how the risk of the outbreak spreading to each county changed over time during the first six months of the pandemic. The model will be useful in the future, when COVID‑19 is eliminated from some counties, as a tool to predict risk of re-introduction. covid19.uga.edu/spatial-us
September 22, 2020
CEID has released its stochastic model for the US. The model takes into account human actions that are difficult to quantify (e.g., wearing of face masks), in addition to human mobility quantified through cell phone data. The new model fits reported cases, deaths, movement data, and a temporal trend in transmission capturing other human behaviors. The model projects cases, hospitalizations and deaths six weeks out under three social distancing scenarios. covid19.uga.edu/forecast
August 31, 2020
CEID’s statistical forecasting model is now included on the COVID‑19 ForecastHub, a CDC-coordinated record and visualization of forecasts by modeling teams from around the globe. All forecasts on the ForecastHub are updated weekly. Information about the model (referred to on ForecastHub as “CEID-Walk”) can be found here.
August 30, 2020
CEID researchers have produced a model of the risk of COVID‑19 importation via each US port-of-entry airport, and the risk of imporation to the US from each country currently flying to the US. Results are updated monthly on the COVID‑19 Portal here
August 25, 2020
UGA’s College of Public Health is now monitoring wastewater samples from reclamation facilities in Athens, Georgia, in order to help anticipate outbreaks and estimate the level of SARS‑CoV‑2 circulating in the population. Results are updated weekly on the COVID‑19 Portal here
August 15, 2020
COVID‑19 Portal now includes a model for SARS‑CoV‑2 transmission on a university campus. The model estimated imported cases at the start of a semester and considers both generalized interventions and testing programs. Model details here
June 2, 2020
CEID’s updated stochastic model for the COVID‑19 outbreak in Georgia now accounts for human actions that are difficult to quantify with data (e.g., wearing of face masks), in addition to human movement quantified through cell phone data and other sources. The new model fits reported cases, deaths, movement data, and a temporal trend in baseline transmission capturing other human behaviors. The model projects cases, hospitalizations and deaths six weeks out under three social distancing scenarios. covid19.uga.edu/stochastic-GA.
March 27, 2020
The Nowcast of the COVID‑19 outbreak size by US state has launched on the COVID‑19 Portal. The Nowcast is an estimate of the total number of unreported cases by state. Nowcasts are estimated for the 50 states and for the US as a whole, and are calculated from COVID‑19 case reports and fatalities. covid19.uga.edu/nowcast
March 15, 2020
The COVID‑19 Portal now includes a stochastic model for the COVID‑19 outbreak in the state of Georgia. covid19.uga.edu/stochastic-GA.
March 15, 2020
CEID has released an anlysis of the effect of early intervention on its COVID‑19 Portal. The analysis of intervention timing and outbreak size by province in China clearly demonstrates the importance of early intervention.
March 3, 2020
The CEID COVID‑19 Portal now includes a model that provides insight into the final size of the ongoing COVID‑19 outbreak. The model estimates global outbreak sizes by probabilistically incorporating the sparking of new local outbreaks across the globe. The model estimates outbreak sizes for best-case, worst-case and average-case scenarios under a range of assumptions, including how fast local containment efforts improve.
The Center for the Ecology of Infectious Diseases (CEID) is a research unit housed in the Odum School of Ecology at the University of Georgia. The mission of the CEID is to bring together social and natural scientists through data science, basic biology, and scientific synthesis.