Reich Lab Issues Expert Predictions on COVID-19

Biostatisticians Nick Reich and Thomas McAndrew

Nicholas Reich (left) and Thomas McAndrew

March 13, 2020

Associate Professor of Biostatistics Nicholas Reich and postdoctoral researcher Thomas McAndrew have released the latest results of a weekly survey of over 20 infectious disease modeling researchers to assess their collective expert opinion on the trajectory of the COVID-19 outbreak in the US. Participants are modeling experts and researchers who have spent a substantial amount of time in their professional career designing, building, and/or interpreting models to explain and understand infectious disease dynamics and/or the associated policy implications in human populations.

Their predictions for the current week, in summary, conclude that a four-fold increase in reported cases is likely to occur in the US in the coming week and that community-level spread will occur in the US within 3 weeks. They also estimate that only between 4% and 30% of all COVID-19 infections had been confirmed as of March 9th. This implies that thousands of infections, both symptomatic and asymptomatic, have gone unrecognized or undiagnosed. Experts predict hospitalizations for COVID-19 will peak in May.

This is the fourth in a series of surveys conducted weekly by the Reich Lab team. Follow the team on Twitter at @reichlab and @tomcm39 for the latest updates and future surveys.

Download the March 11 survey here.