Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

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COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by a novel coronavirus first identified in late 2019. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is disrupting nearly every facet of daily life and claiming lives across the globe.

As leaders grapple with how to respond, RAND experts seek to address and inform policy options and examine how different countries and communities are managing the crisis. Topics include health care capacity, telemedicine, social distancing, countering misinformation, economic effects, school closures, and online learning.

  • A voter completes his ballot on the day of the primary election in Louisville, Kentucky, U.S. June 23, 2020, photo by Bryan Woolston/Reuters

    Report

    Voting in a Pandemic: What Americans Think About Safety, Election Integrity, and Preparedness

    Aug 27, 2020

    As states prepare to conduct elections during the COVID-19 crisis, what are voters' perceptions about safety, election integrity, and the readiness of local officials? And how might these perceptions affect voter turnout in November?

  • A person donates blood during a Red Cross and Arizona Diamondbacks baseball team blood drive at Chase Field in Phoenix, April 28, 2020, photo by Ross D. Franklin/AP Images

    Essay

    A Stable Blood Supply Is Critical in the COVID-19 Era

    Aug 27, 2020

    Millions of lives depend on the U.S. blood supply. But no one knows exactly how much blood is in the system at any given time, or whether it's enough to meet demand. The federal government has no way to collect that data, and hospitals don't share it with each other. What can be done to strengthen the system?

Explore Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

  • A family pushes a cart after receiving groceries during a Mother's Day food distribution event organized, Los Angeles, California, May 9, 2020, photo by Patrick T. Fallon/Reuters

    Report

    How Smart Cities Could Improve Open Data Portals

    Open data portals are accessible to residents of “smart” cities. How can city leaders make these portals more useful? Los Angeles's experience during the COVID-19 pandemic provides lessons.

    Jul 27, 2020

  • Jennifer Panditaratne helps Hazeline with her reading assignments as she is homeschooling in Broward County, Florida, U.S. May 29, 2020. Picture taken May 29, 2020, photo by Maria Alejandra Cardona/Reuters

    Report

    Parents Need Help During School and Child Care Center Closures

    The COVID-19 pandemic has been particularly challenging for parents since schools and child care centers closed or switched to distance learning in the spring. Parents with children in different age groups and those under financial stress need the most support.

    Jul 27, 2020

  • A man attends the “2020, The Year of 5G for Europe” conference at the the Huawei Cyber Security Transparency Centre in Brussels, Belgium, January 16, 2020, photo by Yves Herman/Reuters

    Commentary

    The Coronavirus Puts a Spotlight on a National Security Supply Crisis

    In times of national emergency, it can be crucial that governments can maintain an uninterrupted supply of essential goods and services, be it technology, food, or raw materials. As countries across the world now face an unprecedented demand on supplies and services to tackle the outbreak of COVID-19, it may be important for governments to take stock of the potential risks to national security that could accompany their choice of vendor.

    Jul 27, 2020

  • Finger stopping wooden dominoes from falling over, photo by simarik/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Key Questions to Ask in Designing a Pandemic Risk Insurance Program

    Congress is considering establishing an insurance program that would make business interruption coverage for pandemics less expensive and more widely available. We have identified several key questions that policymakers could consider when designing a pandemic risk insurance program.

    Jul 27, 2020

  • Blog

    Reopenining Schools, Affordable Housing, Unemployment: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on the debate about reopening schools, how a decline in commercial real estate demand could help address the housing crisis, challenges facing the U.S. unemployment system, and more.

    Jul 24, 2020

  • A man walks past the shuttered Richard Rodgers Theatre, home of the popular musical “Hamilton,” in New York, July 2, 2020, photo by Mike Segar/Reuters

    Commentary

    Arts and Cultural Workers Are Especially Vulnerable to the Pandemic

    Workers in the arts and cultural industries could be especially vulnerable to the economic shocks of COVID-19. As the United States reopens and decides its future, it should recognize these vulnerabilities, as well as the benefits that the arts and cultural industries offer.

    Jul 23, 2020

  • Children stand on smiley faces to maintain social distancing in the courtyard of a school in Paris, France, May 14, 2020, photo by Benoit Tessier/Reuters

    Q&A

    How to Reopen Schools: Q&A with RAND Experts

    The debate over opening U.S. schools is growing more heated by the day. In this Q&A, RAND researchers discuss the different approaches for reopening, how online learning went in the spring, ways to help disadvantaged students, and more.

    Jul 23, 2020

  • People line up outside a career center, hoping to find assistance with their unemployment claims, Frankfort, Kentucky, June 18, 2020, photo by Bryan Woolston/Reuters

    Commentary

    Is the U.S. Stuck with a Fixed Add-On for Unemployment?

    When COVID-19 led to millions of Americans losing their jobs, Congress moved to increase unemployment benefits by $600 a week. What should happen when those extra benefits expire?

    Jul 23, 2020

  • Kids playing soccer, photo by FatCamera/Getty Images

    Commentary

    California Could Develop Guidance to Reopen Youth Sports

    There is growing evidence that long-term isolation from school closures has negative impacts on kids' physical and mental health and social development, with impacts potentially lasting for years. Youth sports can help to offset many of these negative impacts. California public health officials could prioritize the development of guidelines that would allow youth sports to reopen safely.

    Jul 22, 2020

  • An aerial view of Wuhan, China, February 21, 2020, photo by Xiao Yijiu/Xinhua/Latin America News Agency/Reuters

    Commentary

    Wuhan, from the Cultural Revolution to COVID-19

    Fifty-three years ago, China was in the midst of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, and Wuhan was ground zero for battles between armed factions in the streets of cities across the country. In 2020, Wuhan has once again taken center stage as the epicenter of a contagion sweeping not just China, but the world. There are some striking parallels and similarities between the notoriety of this central Chinese city then and now.

    Jul 20, 2020

  • A construction worker on a building site in downtown Los Angeles, California, March 10, 2015, photo by Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

    Commentary

    Declining Commercial Real Estate Demand May Be an Opportunity to Address the Housing Crisis

    The pandemic has led to an estimated 175,000 business closures this spring. And an estimated 40 percent of employed people are working from home full-time. This could be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reallocate portions of the built environment toward the urgent demand for affordable housing.

    Jul 20, 2020

  • 6-year-old Alice Young uses chalk pens to draw a rainbow on her window, in Wimbledon, UK, April 3, 2020, photo by Katie Collins/Reuters

    Commentary

    Why Spending More Time at Home Is Bad for Some Children's Health

    Children in Europe are at a higher risk of poor-quality and overcrowded housing. Efforts to improve the quality of children's living environments could be key to mitigating the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak on children and their households.

    Jul 20, 2020

  • Blog

    COVID Learning Loss, Russian Trolls, Artificial Intelligence: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on helping students recover learning losses, fighting Russian trolls, racial disparity in unemployment benefits, the race for AI leadership, and more.

    Jul 17, 2020

  • Mature Black women working on a computer at home, photo by Goodboy Picture Company/Getty Images

    Commentary

    National Security and Workplace Flexibility Aren't Incompatible After All

    For years, the U.S. Defense Department dismissed workplace flexibility as being incompatible with national security. But during the pandemic, flexibility became a matter of survival for all employers, including Defense. The question now is whether it will keep recent adaptations or go back to its rigid ways.

    Jul 17, 2020

  • Social distancing dividers for students in a classroom at St. Benedict School in Montebello, near Los Angeles, California, July 14, 2020, photo by Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

    Commentary

    Back to School: Working Parents Will Need Help from Employers

    Reopening schools would provide much-needed child care for parents who need to work, help feed 30 million U.S. children, and prevent further inequitable learning losses. But it also means exposing more kids to the virus. How can families and employers prepare for the disruptions that lie ahead?

    Jul 17, 2020

  • Antigen and Antibody Tests

    Multimedia

    Antigen and Antibody Tests: What's the Difference?

    RAND's Mahshid Abir describes the two types of tests being used to detect COVID-19 and explains the risks involved with relying on results from antigen testing.

    Jul 16, 2020

  • Periodical

    RAND Review: July-August 2020

    Feature stories explore what research says about learning loss after extended school breaks; how stress and trauma affect individual and community health; and how a critical care surge response tool is helping hospitals during the pandemic.

    Jul 13, 2020

  • Jonathan Welburn stands on Santa Monica's nearly deserted Third Street Promenade in May 2020, photo by Diane Baldwin/RAND Corporation

    Q&A

    Balancing Public Health and Economic Effects of Physical Distancing: Q&A with Jonathan Welburn

    Jonathan Welburn, an operations researcher at RAND, has spent years studying how economic shocks ripple outward like a contagion through the economy. He recently helped develop an online tool that policymakers can use to manage the health and economic effects of COVID-19 interventions.

    Jul 13, 2020

  • Blog

    Online Shopping, Living in a Riskier World, Stress in Communities: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on Americans' online shopping habits during the pandemic, living in a riskier world, how stress builds in communities, and more.

    Jul 10, 2020

  • Two children on a couch watching TV and their phones, photo by patrickheagney/Getty Images

    Essay

    The COVID Slide: How to Help Students Recover Learning Losses

    Research shows that summer breaks contribute to income-based achievement and opportunity gaps for youth. How can we use what we know about summer learning to help kids in the age of COVID-19?

    Jul 9, 2020