In August, in partnership with the Harvard Global Health Institute, Google launched a set of models — the COVID-19 Public Forecasts — that provide projections of COVID-19 cases, deaths, ICU utilization, ventilator availability, and other metrics for U.S. counties and states. Today, the two organizations released what they claim are significantly improved models — trained on public data from Johns Hopkins University, Descartes Labs, the United States Census Bureau, and elsewhere — that expand beyond the U.S.
The COVID-19 Public Forecasts are intended to serve as a resource for first responders in health care, the public sector, and other affected organizations, Google says. The forecasts allow for targeted testing and public health interventions on a county-by-county basis, in theory enhancing users’ ability to respond to the rapidly evolving pandemic. For example, health care providers could incorporate the forecasted number of cases as a datapoint in resource planning for PPE, staffing, and scheduling. Meanwhile, state and county health departments could use the forecast of infections to inform testing strategies and identify areas at risk of an outbreak.
Association between COVID-19 outcomes and mask mandates, adherence, and attitudes
Using an event study design, authors estimate the treatment effect of the introduction of mask mandates (shown on the vertical red line) on Z-scored population-normalized COVID-19 daily new confirmed cases, daily new hospitalization admissions proportion, and deaths across all 50 states and D.C. over the time period between February 1 and September 27, 2020.
Source: Dhaval Adjodah, Karthik Dinakar, Matteo Chinazzi, Samuel P. Fraiberger, Alex Pentland, Samantha Bates, Kyle Staller, Alex Vespignani, Deepak L. Bhatt. Association between COVID-19 Outcomes and Mask Mandates, Adherence, and Attitudes.