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.

  • 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

    Jul 23, 2020

    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.

  • A poll worker disinfects booths after every use during early voting in Knoxville, Tennessee, July 17, 2020, photo by Cavin Mattheis/News Sentinel

    Project

    Conducting Safe Elections During a Pandemic

    Aug 5, 2020

    There may be a continued need this fall for public health interventions—such as social distancing, reduced occupancy in indoor spaces, and aggressive sanitizing protocols—to limit the spread of COVID-19. How can the United States safely and securely hold its elections during this ongoing pandemic?

Explore Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

  • COVID-19 patients in an intensive care unit, photo by JazzIRT/Getty Images

    Research Brief

    Critical Care Surge Capacity in U.S. Hospitals: Strategies for Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic

    In this brief, the authors present methods for creating critical care surge capacity in hospitals in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and estimate patient capacity, given the number of doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, ventilators, and beds.

    May 5, 2020

  • Members of the Maryland National Guard load medical supplies and equipment at the Maryland Strategic National Stockpile location on March 19, 2020, photo by MSgt. Christopher Schepers/U.S. Air National Guard

    Testimony

    The Federal Research Enterprise and COVID-19

    There is still much to be done to address the COVID-19 pandemic. But it's not too early to examine shortfalls and ways to steer the United States through the crisis. What has been the federal response so far? And what role has the Department of Homeland Security in particular played?

    May 5, 2020

  • A woman walks past a portrait of Chinese President Xi Jinping, Shanghai, China March 12, 2020, photo by Aly Song/Reuters

    Commentary

    Don't Be Fooled by China's Mask Diplomacy

    China has provided coronavirus-related aid to hundreds of countries. This appears to be an effort to make the world forget its role in the COVID-19 crisis—and to take advantage of its neighbors' current distraction.

    May 5, 2020

  • A rideshare driver wears gloves and a mask while driving following the outbreak of COVID-19, in New York City, March 15, 2020, photo by Jeenah Moon/Reuters

    Commentary

    Non-Emergency Medical Transportation in the Time of COVID-19

    More widespread availability of rideshare for non-emergency medical transport may save lives, reserve emergency resources for those who need them, and provide safe pathways to primary care for the chronically ill. It could also save livelihoods, providing employment in a time of economic hardship.

    May 5, 2020

  • Four hands holding magnifying glasses, photo by solidcolours/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Leading with the Proper Use of Scientific Evidence Is Better Than Hiding Behind It

    Evidence only has scientific meaning when it is part of a body of disciplinary knowledge produced by a community of scientists. Leading with scientific evidence, coupled with a wider values framework, may result in better outcomes for all.

    May 5, 2020

  • Shoppers line up to enter a Home Depot store as they practice social distancing to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in St. Louis, Missouri, April 4, 2020, photo by Lawrence Bryant/Reuters

    Tool

    New Tool Can Assess the Effects of COVID-19 Interventions

    State and local leaders have taken unprecedented measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 and prevent health care systems from being overwhelmed. As states plan the way to recovery, a new tool can help them estimate both the public health and economic consequences of imposing or lifting restrictions.

    May 4, 2020

  • Report

    Estimating the Economic Costs of Social-Distancing Policies

    To support state and local officials making policy decisions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, RAND researchers developed a series of economic models aimed at estimating the economic consequences associated with a small set of social-distancing policies.

    May 4, 2020

  • A woman waits in front of a closed and shuttered storefront amid the COVID-19 outbreak in Lynn, Massachusetts, May 4, 2020, photo by Brian Snyder/Reuters

    Q&A

    Reopening America—The Health and Economic Tradeoffs: Q&A with RAND Experts

    Local and state officials are thinking through whether, when, and how to lift social-distancing restrictions. We asked three RAND researchers about the complex problem of reopening.

    May 4, 2020

  • Joseph Wilkinson does schoolwork at his home in Manchester, Britain, March 23, 2020, photo by Phil Noble/Reuters

    Commentary

    Digital Learning Needs to Benefit All Children When Schools Close

    Three factors are essential for any digital learning method. First, it must be inclusive. Second, it should support the learning experience, not replace it. And third, evidence of what works should inform digital learning interventions.

    May 4, 2020

  • Aerial photograph of the devastation caused in the greater New Orleans area following Hurricane Katrina, August 30, 2005, photo by Vincent Laforet/Pool/Reuters

    Commentary

    Planning for a COVID-19 Hurricane

    What if Hurricane Katrina had hit during a pandemic? Emergency planners can prepare for this scenario by evaluating current response system capacity, evacuation and sheltering procedures, food and supply issues, and more.

    May 4, 2020

  • Boston Public School teacher Princess Bryant teaches her kindergarten class via videoconference from her apartment in Boston, Massachusetts, April 28, 2020, photo by Brian Snyder/Reuters

    Commentary

    Now That Digital Materials Are Front and Center, How Should They Be Used?

    Schools and teachers can support student learning during the COVID-19 crisis by considering how to keep curricula front and center alongside a set of targeted digital materials that connect with curricula and can keep students learning, engaged, and connected to their school support systems.

    May 4, 2020

  • Wood block stacking with icon healthcare medical, Insurance for your health concept, photo by marchmeena29/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Don't Waste This Crisis: How America Can Begin Building a System of Health

    COVID-19 is shining a harsh spotlight on long-recognized but under-addressed gaps in the U.S. health system. There may never have been a more pressing time to think differently, broadening from health care services to a health-producing System of Health.

    May 4, 2020

  • News Release

    RAND Creates Online Tool to Help State and Local Policymakers Manage Responses to COVID-19 Pandemic

    A new tool designed to help state and local officials estimate the effects of social distancing and other public health interventions used to combat the COVID-19 pandemic has been released by the nonprofit, nonpartisan RAND Corporation.

    May 4, 2020

  • Police officers patrol the beach after the closing of all the beaches in Miami-Dade County due to COVID-19, in Miami Beach, Florida, March 19, 2020, photo by Carlos Barria/Reuters

    Commentary

    State Police Powers: A Less Than Optimal Remedy for COVID-19

    How can the United States face what may be a growing threat of pandemics without having to exercise powers so extraordinary that they not only restrict fundamental rights and liberties, but also damage or jeopardize the economic livelihood of so many?

    May 1, 2020

  • Blog

    A Proposed COVID-19 Cure, Economic Decline, North Korea: RAND Weekly Recap

    This weekly recap focuses on the unintended consequences of a proposed COVID-19 treatment, another wave of economic destruction, North Korea after Kim Jong Un, and more.

    May 1, 2020

  • Tables are marked off at J. Christopher's restaurant that now offers dine-in service on April 27, 2020 in Decatur, Georgia.

    Multimedia

    The Health and Economic Tradeoffs of Reopening America

    In this Call with the Experts podcast, RAND researchers consider the health and economic effects of relaxing social distancing restrictions.

    May 1, 2020

  • A person filling out a form titled Advance Health Care Directive and a pen, photo by PictureLake/Getty Images

    Commentary

    COVID-19 and End-of-Life Decisions

    Resuscitative efforts do not typically save a life. In anticipation of the pandemic surge, hospitals are discussing blanket do-not-resuscitate orders for patients dying from the coronavirus. It's time to discuss the limits of CPR so patients stricken with COVID-19 can make informed end-of-life decisions.

    Apr 30, 2020

  • Protesters calling for rent payments to be canceled amid the outbreak of COVID-19, in Washington, D.C., April 25, 2020, photo by Erin Scott/Reuters

    Commentary

    Coronavirus and the Looming Crisis in Rental Housing

    Housing security is vital to individual and collective well-being. It's also a key component in the nation's economic performance. The looming coronavirus eviction crisis suggests the need to address the systemic problem of housing affordability and security now.

    Apr 30, 2020

  • A volunteer with Highpoint Charitable Services loads groceries into the car of a family in need at a food bank in LaGrange, Kentucky, April 13, 2020, photo by Bryan Woolston/Reuters

    Commentary

    Feeding the Needy and Protecting Workers on the Front Lines of the Pandemic

    Access to food could be critical to getting through the COVID-19 pandemic. Local leaders and policymakers may find themselves having to devote new resources to make sure all citizens have access to food and to protect those on the front lines.

    Apr 30, 2020

  • Ambulance with lights on driving down the highway, photo by ARHIT/Adobe Stock

    Journal Article

    An Epidemic in the Midst of a Pandemic: Opioid Use Disorder and COVID-19

    The COVID-19 pandemic strikes at a moment when our national response to the opioid crisis was beginning to coalesce. COVID-19 threatens to dramatically overshadow and reverse this progress.

    Apr 29, 2020