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 tween girl wearing a protective mask at her desk in a classroom, photo by JackF/Adobe Stock

    Report

    COVID-19 Testing in Schools Is Complex but Doable

    Mar 9, 2021

    COVID-19 testing can be effectively integrated into K–12 schools' pandemic response plans. And it helps families and staff feel more comfortable with in-person instruction. Insights from early adopters of COVID-19 testing in fall 2020 can help schools reopen safely.

  • The exterior of the Tom Harkin Global Communications Center, otherwise known as Building 19, located on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Roybal Campus in Atlanta, Georgia.

    Report

    Trust in the CDC Declined During the COVID-19 Pandemic

    Apr 5, 2021

    From May to October 2020, some Americans lost trust in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The drop in trust was particularly significant among people who intended to vote for a candidate other than Joe Biden in the 2020 election or did not intend to vote at all. This suggests that views of the CDC are now strongly politicized.

Explore Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

  • Health visitor and a senior woman during home visit, photo by FG Trade/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Elevating the Well-Being of Home Care Workers

    More than 2.3 million home care workers are responsible for caring for millions of Americans who are unable to fully care for themselves. It's worth considering policy options to provide them with better access to PPE, improved compensation, and formal recognition that their work is essential.

    Dec 10, 2020

  • People talk outside of Flora Gallery and Coffee Shop near a downed tree in the street after Hurricane Zeta swept through New Orleans, Louisiana, October 29, 2020, photo by Kathleen Flynn/Reuters

    Report

    When Hurricanes Happen During Pandemics

    Hurricanes can change patterns of mobility and expand the spread of COVID-19, for example, to communal shelters. On the other hand, fear of the virus could cause people who might otherwise evacuate to shelter in place, resulting in more deaths from a hurricane. How can policymakers prepare for this threat?

    Dec 9, 2020

  • Blog

    Supporting Working Women, the Intelligence Community, Refugees: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on supporting America's working women, challenges facing the next Director of National Intelligence, how Syria's forever war is creating forever refugees, and more.

    Dec 4, 2020

  • Father with kid working from home during quarantine, photo by len4ik/Adobe Stock

    Report

    How Telecommuting Is Changing During the Pandemic

    The ability to telecommute at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic saved many workers' jobs. Some of them are now returning to their workplaces, but most who can telecommute continue to do so. Telecommuting is also spreading to such occupations as health care and sales. Are these changes likely to persist after the pandemic?

    Dec 3, 2020

  • Blog

    Restoring Public Trust, COVID-19 and Thanksgiving, Vaccinating Teachers: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on how the Biden-Harris administration can restore public trust, the risk of Thanksgiving becoming a super-spreader event, why teachers should be among the first to get a COVID19 vaccination, and more.

    Nov 26, 2020

  • Woman working from home with young son, photo by ArtMarie/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Women Are Leaving the Labor Force in Record Numbers

    The economic downturn during the pandemic is affecting women workers measurably harder than men. There were 2.2 million fewer women in the labor force in October 2020 than there were last October. Investing in childcare and expanding labor laws could keep women employed and buoy the entire economy.

    Nov 24, 2020

  • Passengers wait to check in at Tom Bradley international terminal at LAX airport in Los Angeles, California, November 23, 2020, photo by Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

    Commentary

    Will Thanksgiving Be a National Super-Spreader Event?

    Whether or not Thanksgiving will become a national super-spreader event will depend on the size of individual holiday gatherings across the country and the rate of COVID-19 cases in each community. December could be a grim month if people don't stay home on Thanksgiving.

    Nov 24, 2020

  • Blog

    Schools and COVID-19, Health Care Resources, Leaving Afghanistan: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on allocating scarce but lifesaving resources during a pandemic, insights from America’s educators, the lopsided telework revolution, and more.

    Nov 20, 2020

  • People walk outside Hostos Community College in the Bronx borough of New York, December 16, 2017, photo by Eduardo Munoz/Reuters

    Commentary

    Community College Enrollment Is Way Down. That Could Be Bad for Economic Recovery

    Enrollment at America's community colleges is down by nearly 10 percent compared with before the pandemic, leaving community colleges in a perilous financial position. Without intervention, these institutions may not weather the storm.

    Nov 17, 2020

  • Periodical

    Periodical

    RAND Review: November-December 2020

    Features explore the challenge of delivering effective treatments for veterans with co-occuring disorders; teachers, students, and the importance of civic responsibility in present-day America; and teaching and learning in the age of COVID-19.

    Nov 16, 2020

  • Report

    Report

    COVID-19 and the State of K-12 Schools: Results and Technical Documentation from the Fall 2020 American Educator Panels COVID-19 Surveys

    This report provides information about the sample, survey instrument, and data for the coronavirus disease 2019 surveys that were administered to principals and teachers in fall 2020 via the RAND Corporation's American Educator Panels.

    Nov 16, 2020

  • Teachers work outside their school building for safety reasons as they prepare for the delayed start of the school year due to COVID-19, in Brooklyn, New York City, September 14, 2020, photo by Brendan McDermid/Reuters

    Report

    This School Year Could Be Another Casualty of the Pandemic

    Most U.S. schools are providing either fully remote or hybrid instruction as the pandemic continues to limit students' learning. Students are less prepared for grade-level work and those from vulnerable populations are most at risk of falling behind. Some 80 percent of teachers report burnout.

    Nov 16, 2020

  • Woman working at home on a laptop with cat on the desk, photo by Drazen_/Getty Images

    Commentary

    The Lopsided Telework Revolution

    The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated a transition to telework, protecting the jobs and the health of those whose work can be performed remotely. Creative policies in a post-pandemic world are needed to help more broadly distribute the benefits of increased remote work.

    Nov 16, 2020

  • Blog

    Veterans Day, Psychedelic Drug Policy, Family Caregivers: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses supporting veterans with mental health and substance use disorders, changes to psychedelic drug policy, the vital role of family caregivers, and more.

    Nov 13, 2020

  • A person holds a credit card and types on a laptop while online shopping, photo by Ngampol/Adobe Stock

    Report

    How Is COVID-19 Changing Online Shopping Habits?

    Americans' online shopping habits have continued to shift during the pandemic. By August 2020, more people were shopping online, and 39 percent reported spending more money on their purchases. People who spent less were likely to have lost employment.

    Nov 10, 2020

  • Blog

    'Internet of Bodies,' COVID-19 as a Preexisting Condition, Preventive Health Care: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on the potential risks and benefits of the 'Internet of Bodies,' what might happen if the ACA is struck down and COVID-19 is considered a preexisting condition, a drop in the use of preventive care, and more.

    Nov 6, 2020

  • A nurse prepares to inject a potential COVID-19 vaccine into a human patient, photo by PordeeStudio/Adobe Stock.

    Research Brief

    Unequal Access to COVID-19 Vaccines Would Further Damage the Global Economy

    As long as the coronavirus is not under control in all regions of the world there will continue to be a global economic cost associated with COVID-19. Vaccine nationalism could cost up to $1.2 trillion a year in GDP. If the poorest countries cannot access vaccines, the loss would be between $60 and $340 billion a year.

    Nov 5, 2020

  • Empty medical office waiting room, photo by creativeneko/Getty Images

    News Release

    Preventive Health Care Dropped Significantly During First Two Months of Pandemic Lockdown; Study Finds Disparities in Switch to Telemedicine

    During the first two months of the pandemic lockdown, Americans dramatically reduced their use of preventive and elective health care, while increasing use of telemedicine—but the switch was not enough to offset reductions in in-person care.

    Nov 5, 2020

  • Health insurance form with model of COVID-19 virus and pen, photo by ajaykampani/Getty Images

    Commentary

    COVID-19: Preexisting Condition in a Post-ACA World?

    The Affordable Care Act is far from perfect, but its protections are particularly relevant to the COVID-19 pandemic. If the ACA is struck down, then protections for preexisting conditions will go with it. Policymakers should consider the potential implications for millions of COVID-19 survivors.

    Nov 4, 2020

  • Man talking to a doctor on his tablet, photo by AJ_Watt/Getty Images

    Journal Article

    Telehealth Capability Among Substance Use Disorder Treatment Facilities in Counties With High Versus Low COVID-19 Social Distancing

    This study aimed to To quantify the availability of telehealth services at substance use treatment facilities in the U.S. at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, and determine whether telehealth is available at facilities in counties with the greatest amount of social distancing. Relatively few substance use treatment facilities offered telehealth services at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Policymakers and public health officials should do more to support facilities in offering telehealth services.

    Nov 3, 2020