Local modeling

Mayo Predictive Modeling Tool Suggested for Holiday Travel – Post Bulletin

ROCHESTER, Minn. — Data scientists at the Mayo Clinic on Tuesday, Dec. 15, urged Minnesotans to consult the Mayo Coronavirus Map Tracker when planning vacation trips.

The website is a public-facing web portal created by the Clinic’s COVID-19 Predictive Modeling Task Force. It offers up-to-date, region-specific information on case rates, daily case counts, and two-week forecasts.

The tool is searchable by state or county, nationwide.

“COVID-19 cases are already high or on the rise in much of the United States,” said Dr. Shannon Dunlay, co-lead of Mayo Clinic’s COVID-19 modeling team “and this is a busy holiday season.”

“This is happening against the backdrop of many hospitals not only full of COVID-19 cases, but also patients with other needs.”

The tool reflects the fact that the prevalence of COVID-19 varies widely by region, with different parts of the United States experiencing spikes that rise and fall over time, while parts of a state given can largely separate from other parts of the same state in terms of case growth.

Moreover, these trends are largely independent of population density. Less populated rural areas, for example, may have high readings while urban areas report relatively modest transmission rates.

Minnesota, a state known for its advanced public health mechanisms, now has a much higher spread than Florida, a state that has often led the country in case growth.

“First and foremost, we encourage people to get vaccinated,” Dunlay said. “When you’re eligible, get your booster. If you’re sick, avoid others and get tested for COVID-19. Consider wearing a mask, even if you’re vaccinated, if you’re going to be around other people. “

The Mayo forecasting model incorporates a variety of data to predict case activity in a given region, including cell phone data that can anonymously inform individuals’ proximity to each other and whether there are a higher than usual amount of mixture.

The model even plans to incorporate wastewater data in some regions, according to Curtis Storlie, Ph.D., a Mayo Clinic data scientist, who explained that a model can be learned from past activity of the virus.

“Things that govern the rate of spread and breeding numbers are going to vary over time,” he said. “There is a certain amount of model learning over time.”

On Tuesday, Dec. 13, the Mayo Tracker showed Minnesota had more than 71 cases per 100,000 people, nearly double the national average. But with 64% of the population vaccinated, the state is slightly ahead of the national vaccination average.

The number of cases in Minnesota has climbed in series of waves since late October. The state now approaches the holidays facing another climb, but with upper and lower limits that favor the possibility of larger departures up than down.

Minnesota’s 71 average daily cases per 100,000 population could rise to 123, in this calculation, or fall to 66. Alabama, by comparison, currently sits at 11 average daily cases per 100,000 population, with an upper limit of 13.

Statewide, at 38 daily cases per 100,000, Polk County in the northwest corner of the state has half the daily case rate of the rest of Minnesota, while those traveling to Waseca County, at 173 cases per 100,000, almost certainly falls into an area of ​​greater spread.

“We want to hit some of the lower limits doing whatever we can,” Storlie said. “We can’t afford to have this big spike…it really is the time to take precautions.”

“We’re in a much better position thanks to vaccination,” Storlie said of Christmas 2021. fantastic for traveling.”