Mathematical Modeling of the Current COVID‑19 Epidemic and Potential Second Wave in Alberta to Improve Public Health Responses

Li, Michael | $50,000

Alberta University of Alberta 2020 NSERC Alliance COVID-19 Grant

The COVID‑19 has shaped to be one of the worst and deadliest pandemics the world has seen in recent times, in terms of how widely it has spread, its overall morbidity and mortality, and its huge economic impact. The COVID‑19 pandemic has put the public health systems of all impacted countries and jurisdictions to test, with a varying degree of successes and failures. As provinces plan to open up and relax some social distancing measures, it is imperative that we study the lessons learned during the responses to the current epidemics in Canada, and better prepare for the widely anticipated second waves.

During the COVID‑19 pandemic, mathematical modeling has been adopted by public health agencies in many jurisdictions around the world as an essential tool to forecast the scale, time course, and the potential impacts to the public health and health systems. The insights from mathematical modeling have assisted public health authorities to make evidence-based decisions on the public health responses to the local epidemics.

In partnership and collaboration with Alberta Health, the main objectives of the proposed research are to analyzed the COVID‑19 data in Alberta using mathematical models, to identify key factors that contributed to the much larger scale of the COVID‑19 epidemic in Calgary in comparison to Edmonton, and the large outbreaks in long-term care facilities and meat processing plants in Alberta. Lessons learned will be valuable to Alberta Health to better prepare for its public health responses to the potential second wave of COVID‑19 in the Fall of 2020, and more effectively mitigate another large scale epidemic and prevent outbreaks in vulnerable populations.

With funding from the Government of Canada

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