Parameter values for COVID-19 in the United States

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Disease transmission models are excellent tools to inform disease prevention and mitigation activities. However, in the early stages of an outbreak, parameter values that inform these models are often obtained by observations made in other regions or are aggregated at geographical scales that do not account for local mitigation efforts. Amy Kinsley, DVM, PhD, assistant professor of veterinary population medicine, is leading a study that will quantify values associated with the duration of the stages of COVID-19 infection and transmission rates to improve modeling accuracy.
“By developing COVID-19 parameter values that are specific to each state in the U.S., we can better represent and quantify COVID-19 transmission and measure the impact of mitigation strategies that are implemented,” said Kinsley.
Her study will report transmission states’ rate trends, which quantifies the rate at which individuals become infected, to measure the impact of mitigation strategies, including social distancing, shelter in place, and the relaxation of those strategies when that occurs.

This project is supported by the UMN Campus Public Health Officer's CO:VID (Collaborative Outcomes: Visionary Innovation & Discovery) grants program, which support University of Minnesota faculty to catalyze and energize small-scale research projects designed to address and mitigate the COVID-19 virus and its associated risks.