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Communications of the ACM

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Computer Model Can Predict How Covid-19 Spreads in Cities


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Modeling data for Chicago.

A new computer model accurately predicted the spread of COVID-19 in 10 major cities this spring.

Credit: Serina Yongchen Chang

\A team of researchers from Stanford and Northwestern universities has developed a computer model that accurately predicted Covid-19's spread in 10 major cities earlier this year by analyzing three critical infection-risk drivers.

Stanford's Jure Leskovec said the model considers how persons of different demographic backgrounds, and from different neighborhoods, visit different places that are more or less crowded.

Through a combination of demographic data, epidemiological calculations, and anonymous cellphone location data, the model apparently confirms that most virus transmissions are concentrated in "superspreader" sites.

Leskovec said the model “offers the strongest evidence yet” that stay-at-home orders enacted this spring reduced the frequency with which people left their homes, which reduced the rate of new infections.

From Stanford News
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