Modeling COVID-19 Nonpharmaceutical Interventions
Apr 22, 2021
Published in: Journal on Policy and Complex Systems, Volume 7, Number 1, pages 81–118 (Spring 2021). doi: 10.18278/jpcs.7.1.8
Posted on RAND.org on October 20, 2021
We developed a COVID-19 transmission model to compare the effects of nonpharmaceutical public health interventions (NPIs) on health and economic outcomes. An interdisciplinary approach informed the selection and use of multiple NPIs, combining quantitative modeling of the health and economic impacts of interventions with qualitative assessments of other important considerations (e.g., cost, ease of implementation, equity). We used our model to analyze strategies that periodically switch between a base NPI and a high NPI level. We find that this systematic strategy could have produced similar health outcomes as static strategies but better social welfare and economic outcomes. Our findings suggest that there are opportunities to shape the tradeoffs between economic and health outcomes by carefully evaluating a more comprehensive range of reopening policies.
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