As COVID-19 continues to spread, concerns about where and when it is safe to leave home may cause fear, frustration and fatigue. Part of that frustration may come from not having a quick, reliable source for accurate, up-to-date information on virus outbreaks.
That need inspired a team of two Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) School of Medicine faculty members and two students to develop COVID-19 Predict, an intuitive, dynamic tool to monitor viral transmission across the U.S. Featuring maps with a simple, color-coded key, the dashboard can help people understand risks within their community and plan accordingly.
“We developed this dashboard to access publicly available data from Johns Hopkins University’s research database, and then perform a series of unique tests to provide summary graphs and maps that refresh daily for the entire U.S. The summaries can be drilled down by state and by counties within a state,” said Pete Zimmerman, Case Western Reserve professor of pathology, population and quantitative health sciences and the team’s co-lead.
The COVID-19 Predict project team includes Jürgen Bosch, researcher and project co-lead; Austin Wilson, CWRU computer science and engineering student; and Karthik O’Neil, a local student who provided support with coding and statistics.
“Because pandemic is so fluid, this tool can help people assess COVID-19 transmission risk as they venture out of their homes,” said Jürgen Bosch. “With cold weather coming to many areas, socializing will most likely continue inside—which may drive the spread of the virus again. The dashboard’s dynamic nature enables us to monitor viral trends, and because we developed it to be open and adaptable, we’re planning exciting updates.”
“It’s been an honor to continue working with Dr. Bosch and Dr. Zimmerman on a project that provides people real-time insight into COVID-19 where they live and work,” said Austin Wilson. “The dashboard’s unique design pushed me to present the data in new and interesting ways.”
Users are already praising the dashboard.
“The site is engaging, easy to use and adept at showing county-to-county data which helps us fight the virus in our own communities,” said Mark Cameron, associate professor at the Case Western Reserve School of Medicine. “With daily updates and unique methods to present infection trends, no other site, including the state of Ohio’s own COVID-19 dashboard, can show these geographic levels as accurately as the COVID-19 Predict site can.”
Professor of Physics and Astronomy Glenn Starkman said, “One of my daily tasks is to understand how the pandemic is progressing in our country, our state and our region, through the lens of public health. The COVID-19 Predict site makes this much easier.”
Visit the COVID-19 Predict dashboard to learn more.