I’m volunteering w/ the Covid-19 Symptom Data Challenge. Colleagues at CMU and UMD have been surveying people (e.g. on Facebook) whether they or people they know have covid-like symptoms. The goal is to explore how this data can be useful for tracking the virus. 1/
The CMU team has some analyses exploring uses for the data. They found, for example, an association between covid-like illness and covid incidence at the state level in July. 2/ Image
This seems promising at the county level as well, but there is a lot more exploration of the data to be done. What else can we do with this data, and how can it be useful to inform public health? That’s what the challenge is about – data discovery for public health. 3/
(More example of analyses here, from CMU: delphi.cmu.edu/blog/2020/08/2…)
The challenge is of course free to participate, and winners get a cash prize. (Volunteers like me are unpaid.) 4/4

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More from @cmyeaton

8 Aug
I’ve been vocal about my frustration that some schools are giving up covid control measures. But if you’re a parent with kids in school, you’ve probably got to work with what you’ve got. Here is news you can use. 1/7
If your kid is 12+, get them vaccinated. Coverage is only 30% in ages 12-15 and 41% for 16-17. Low. It’s understandable if you have questions, but get them answered. By a medical professional. ASAP. It takes several weeks to be fully vaxxed so start now 2/ covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tra…
Keep an eye on the covid numbers in your area. CDC and NYT have county dashboards. Many states also report school clusters and metrics on their own sites. Even if they don’t report cases to parents, they may to the state. Here is data for Texas schools. 3/ dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/sc…
Read 7 tweets
27 Jul
There may be confusion today about what CDC's new mask guidance means about the protection of vaccination. There are multiple levels of protection, and it’s important to know which level is up for discussion. Quick review. 1/6
1. Any infection. If you are vaccinated, would your body fight off the virus so that you would never even test positive or become infectious? This scenario is what original CDC guidance allowing vaxxed people to unmask was banking on being most common. 2/ cdc.gov/coronavirus/20…
2 Asymptomatic or presymptomatic infection and infectiousness. Say you get infected and would test positive but you have no symptoms. Could you transmit? We don’t rly know how common this is. Masks have particular value here because most people would not know they are infected 3/
Read 7 tweets
21 Jul
Time to return to indoor mask policies in states that are surging. It happened sooner than I expected, but when hospitalization trends look like this, something has to change.
Yes, it's perhaps unfair to vaccinated people, but with no way to differentiate a policy for all is the only practical way.
We also need to ramp up testing (again) and carefully prepare for school reopening. Mitigation measures must remain in schools: masks, ventilation, access to testing.
Read 5 tweets
14 Apr
One in a million will not be the final estimate for the unconfirmed J&J events and I think we should be cautious in citing it. The incidence will surely be rare, but @C_R_Watson and I wrote about biases in estimating mortality last Feb, and similar issues are in play here 1/
@C_R_Watson First, the numerator. Now that awareness has been raised, more cases may be reported. 2/
Second, the denominator. All of the cases in US have been in women ages 18-48. It is reasonable to ask whether the denominator should reflect that. The expert committee will consider this. 3/
Read 5 tweets
29 Mar
Cases are on the rise in many states. How worried am I? I am concerned, but not as much as I would have been 6 months ago with these trends. Short thread. 1/
Many states are doing quite well. I would like to see cases fall below 20 cases per 100,000 per day as a first goal and 10 as a second goal (and then the lower the better). By that measure, we are doing ok: 35 states are at or below 20 and 12 are below 10. 2/
Yet some states are resurging. MI and NJ are at ~50 cases per 100,000 per day and hosp rising too. Risk in those states is high, and leaders should intervene by closing high risk settings and accelerating vaccination. Fed govt could help by sending extra vax coming online. 3/
Read 7 tweets
4 Feb
So, how are we doing with covid? Nationally, reported incidence has fallen from around 76 cases per 100,000 population per day to about 43. Better! But not yet good. Thresholds are contentious, but I think 20 as a first goal and 10 as a second goal are reasonable to start. 1/
Nationally, those thresholds correspond to approx. 66,000 and 33,000 daily cases, respectively. Right now, we’re at ~140,000 cases reported each day on average, so we need to more than halve incidence to get to Goal 1. 2/
What do 20 and 10 cases per 100,000 per day get you, practically? We will still be masking and distancing, for sure. In VT, where reported incidence is currently about 21, in a group of 10 people there is about a 10% chance someone has covid (caveat ahead) 3/
Read 7 tweets

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