Modelling of COVID‑19 Transmission in the Regional Municipality of Durham, Ontario

Nichita, Eleodor | $50,000

Ontario Ontario Tech University 2020 NSERC Alliance COVID-19 Grant

COVID‑19 epidemiological models in current use were developed during the beginning stages of the pandemic and are large-scale models which provide numbers of exposed, infected, and recovered/deceased individuals (stratified by age and/or comorbidities) for the entire country or for an entire province. Those models were adequate in the initial stages of the pandemic, when the priority was to slow down the rate of infection and reduce the number of infected individuals at all costs, including the use of stringent physical-distancing measures. As we move to the second phase, the objective is to restart as much of the economic activity as possible, while avoiding a second peak in infections which can potentially overwhelm emergency departments and health-care facilities in general, as well as lead to renewed economic slowdown. It has now become evident that this second phase will require a much more nuanced approach, which will depend greatly on specific local conditions. This research will:

1) Develop a detailed, multi-compartment dynamic epidemiological model specific to the Regional Municipality of Durham, Ontario, and implement it as a software package to be deployed in the Durham-Region Health Department.

2) Develop reduced-scale experimental models of indoor environments for the study of droplet dispersion and use study findings to develop recommendations for physical distancing and protective measures for specific businesses and activities in Durham Region, Ontario.

With funding from the Government of Canada

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