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With the rapid spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and in the absence of evidence-informed guidance, state and local policymakers have had to put policies in place quickly, with little evidence to support their choices, and with little consideration as to the potentially serious trade-offs that such policies could introduce. Thus, there is an urgent need for a comprehensive and systematic assessment of potential public health interventions to address COVID-19 and when to relax them. This document describes the interdisciplinary and multisectoral approach that RAND researchers used to develop the COVID-19 Decision Support Tool, which is designed to fill that need.

A report containing only the details on the estimation of the economic costs of social distancing policies outlined here is available at

Research conducted by

Funding for this independent research was provided by gifts from RAND supporters and income from operations. The research was jointly conducted by the Community Health and Environmental Policy Program in RAND Social and Economic Well-Being and the Access and Delivery Program in RAND Health Care.

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