14 April 2020 – New models suggest VA social distancing is slowing spread of COVID-19

Type of Intervention: Guidance, New Tool / Service / Body
Sectors Involved: Health, Research and Development
Level of Jurisdiction: VA
Lead People/Agency: Governor Ralph Northam and Secretary of Health and Human Resources Daniel Carey, M.D, Bryan Lewis, Research Associate Professor for the Network Systems Science and Advanced Computing division for the University of Virginia, Carter Price, a senior mathematician at the RAND Corporation

Overview: Governor Ralph Northam, in partnership with researchers from the University of Virginia’s Biocomplexity Institute and the nonprofit RAND Corporation, released new infectious disease modeling on the impact of COVID-19 mitigations in Virginia.
Full details here: https://www.governor.virginia.gov/newsroom/all-releases/2020/april/headline-856112-en.html

Type of Justification: Advice of INTERNAL government advisory committee or group, Advice of EXTERNAL expert advisor or advisory committee, Scientific Evidence (e.g. academic paper, report)
Source of Evidence or Justification: National – academic, National – government, National – other
Evidence/Justification: Key takeaways from infectious disease models developed by the UVA Biocomplexity Institute include:

Current social distancing efforts starting March 15 have paused the growth of the epidemic in the Commonwealth of Virginia. In this scenario, “paused” growth means that the rate of new cases is holding steady rather than increasing.

Current trends suggest that Virginia’s statewide hospital bed capacity will be sufficient in the near future.

Lifting social distancing restrictions too soon can quickly lead to a second wave.