Experts Evaluating COVID-19 Projections As Economy Reopens

May 27, 2020

With most of Ohio’s businesses allowed to open up, experts who’ve worked with the state on the modeling it used to create its COVID-19 policies are evaluating their predictions for what’s ahead.

The state has worked with Ohio State University and the Cleveland Clinic on its projections on the spread of the virus.

Dr. Jim Simon runs predictive modeling for COVID-19 at the Cleveland Clinic. In an interview for "The State of Ohio", Simon said for weeks, people have been getting tired of what he calls the strenuous lifestyle of social distancing.

“We’ve been tracking cell phone mobility data as well as ODOT traffic volumes, and those hit their bottom in late March/early April and then they started drifting back up, long before the governor said it’s ok to go to back to work," Simon said.

An Ohio State expert said last month a slow opening of the economy could be combined with cell phone data to allow for contact tracing and quarantining people in the COVID-19 hotspots that will inevitably happen.

But Simon said while researchers are learning more about it, the coronavirus is just as contagious and deadly as it was when the shutdowns started three months ago.