Mayo Clinic tracking tool now features forecasting for COVID-19 hot spots
- March 11, 2021
Mayo Clinic’s Coronavirus Map tracking tool, which has county-by-county information on COVID-19 cases and trends nationwide, now offers predictive modeling that forecasts where hot spots will emerge over the next 14 days.
Predictive modeling, which uses data and Mayo Clinic analysis and expertise to predict where increases in COVID-19 cases are expected, is among the latest enhancements to the tracking tool, which is part of Mayo Clinic’s online COVID-19 Resource Center. The Resource Center, one of the most visited websites for COVID-19 information, provides the latest data on the disease, insight on Mayo Clinic treatments and therapies, vaccines, and guidance on how to keep your family safe.
The tracking tool has data and trend information for all counties in every U.S. state, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories, and is updated daily. The predictive modeling, which is not available for Hawaii, Alaska, and U.S. territories, is based on data analyses that Mayo has used to prepare for surges in COVID-19 cases at its sites, as well as to assist public health agencies in forecasting.
Video clip example below of the Coronavirus Map tracking tool.
“Mayo Clinic has made strategic investments in its digital and analytic capabilities, and this has allowed us to make precise predictions about COVID-19 cases nationwide in order to provide safe and effective care for all our patients,” says Sean Dowdy, M.D., Mayo Clinic’s Midwest Quality Chair. “We are now making our predictive forecasts public to raise awareness of the trends for COVID infection in specific areas nationwide.”
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website has predictive forecasting that looks ahead for up to one month, but the information is updated only weekly. The Mayo Clinic tracking tool, which uses unique algorithms and data analysis techniques, is updated daily and is the only site with current guidance from Mayo Clinic experts. Mayo data scientists continuously add datapoints to bring users the best information available to keep themselves and their family safe.
“Among the elements that set our model apart from others are the daily data updates to improve accuracy, and the fact that it is adjusted for vaccination rates,” Dr. Dowdy says.
Predictive forecasting can be especially helpful to people with family and friends in other states, and for those making plans to travel. Design and functionality enhancements also have been made to the tracking tool, which is available in English and Spanish.
Curtis Storlie, Ph.D., a Mayo Clinic data scientist who led the development of the Mayo COVID-19 forecast model, says predictive modeling has been a linchpin in Mayo Clinic’s response to the pandemic. “The model has been remarkably accurate, and it’s been a vital part of Mayo Clinic’s ability to manage its resources during the pandemic,” Dr. Storlie says. “The model accurately predicted the different timing and the extent of the case/hospitalization surges that took place at all of our Mayo Clinic sites during the past year. This gave us time to prepare and ensure we could continue to provide the best care while keeping our patients and staff safe.”
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Information in this post was accurate at the time of its posting. Due to the fluid nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, scientific understanding, along with guidelines and recommendations, may have changed since the original publication date.
Learn more about tracking COVID-19 and COVID-19 trends.