June 24, 2020
Biostatistics and Epidemiology researchers Andrew Lover, Nicholas Reich, and Thomas McAndrew, along with Environmental Health Sciences’ Richard Peltier, are among the SPHHS individuals whose coronavirus response efforts are featured in the spring 2020 issue of UMass Magazine. "A Virus Changes Everything" explores the many different ways in which the UMass community rushed in to stem the tide of COVID-19.
Lover's early work in pandemic surveillance is explored, along with the Reich lab's efforts to pivot from its work forecasting seasonal influenza to its efforts to model projections for the novel coronavirus outbreak. In addition, the feature explores Lover's and Reich's work with a team of UMass computer scientists who developed a portable device called FluSense, which can detect coughing and crowd size in real time, then analyze the data to directly monitor the seasonal flu and other viral respiratory outbreaks such as COVID-19.
The feature also profiles Richard Peltier’s research on N95 medical face masks. Initial results indicate that the face masks, which have fallen into short supply during the Covid-19 pandemic, might be safely reused after sterilization. Peltier’s work helps to address a critical need faced by front line workers battling the virus.