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Modeling COVID-19 Scenarios for the United States  

Nature Medicine, 2021, Vol. 27, 94–105.

IHME COVID-19 Forecasting Team [including Christopher Adolph]

We use a deterministic, Susceptible, Exposed, Infectious, Recovered (SEIR) compartmental framework to model possible trajectories of SARS-CoV-2 infections and the impact of non pharmaceutical interventions (NPI) in the United States at the state level through 28 February 2021. Using this SEIR model, and projections of critical driving covariates (pneumonia seasonality, mobility, testing rates, and mask use per capita), we assessed scenarios of social distancing mandates (SDMs) and levels of mask use. Projections of current NPI strategies by state suggest that as many as 511,373 (469,578–578,347) lives could be lost to COVID-19 by 28 February 2021. Encouragingly, achieving universal mask use could be sufficient to ameliorate the worst effects of epidemic resurgences in many states. Universal mask use could save an additional 134,925 (91,787–178,066) lives through the end of February, or an additional 101,033 (66,265–145,432) lives assuming a lesser adoption of mask-wearing, when compared to the reference scenario.

Replication:  See IHME’s website covid19.healthdata.org for current forecasts, code, and data.

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