Join former Governors Howard Dean (D-VT) and Jim Geringer (R-WY) alongside Don Burke, member of the National Academies of Science and President of Epistemix, and Este Geraghty, Chief Medical Officer of Esri to discuss how states are using data to fight COVID-19, and the challenges ahead.
As COVID-19 continues to spread throughout the United States and the nation experiences the number of cases reaching all-time highs, state governments are tasked with leading response efforts. Governors are being called upon to provide guidance to schools, businesses, health departments, municipalities, and families. And the questions keep coming. For example, in addition to managing social distancing regulations, as soon as a vaccine is made available, states will be in charge of planning and overseeing its distribution. But as no two states are alike, how should the deployment strategies be adjusted for each state?
These state-level policy interventions have extraordinary consequences for public health and regional economies, yet governors have limited information on which to base their decisions. Recommendations and best-practices from the White House, CDC, and WHO are often too general to clarify the best path forward for individual states, leaving state leaders to make judgement calls in the face of significant uncertainty.
But some state governments are teaming up with technology companies to leverage data to evaluate and improve decision making. For example, Esri gives state officials access to best-in-class GIS data and location intelligence, and Epistemix uses computational modeling to simulate the specific, local health impacts of particular policy interventions like when and how to reopen schools and businesses in combination with vaccine-induced immunity. The two companies recently partnered on a solution that determines the number of vaccines required to reach vaccine-induced herd immunity for each census tract across the country and to support the distribution and supply chain requirements on behalf of state governors. States need to use every tool at their disposal to respond to this pandemic, and few tools are more powerful than better information.