New UT Coronavirus models can help guide government decision-making

Posted at 1:49 PM, Sep 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-24 14:49:36-04

Folks all over Texas have found usefulness in the new coronavirus models from the University of Texas at Austin.

Not only can it help us plan our own personal coronavirus fight, but it can also help guide governments to better decision-making, say its creators.

Early in the pandemic, the McLennan County Commissioner's court considered steps to take against the coronavirus.

Here's what Commissioner Patricia Chisholm-Miller, told us in March, "I think consistency is going to be part of the solution."

History proved her right. After a spike in cases, only a statewide order on face coverings started a downward trend in the virus.

Now, government leaders can consult the University of Texas COVID-19 model to see what the virus might do, weeks ahead of time.

"We think that it can be used on a number of ways one just to understand how much disease is spreading in your community right now," explained Dr. Spencer Fox, Associate Director of the UT COVID-19 Modeling Consortium.

Not only does the UT model show what's happening now but it also looks three weeks into the future.

"One of the uses of this tool is that local policymakers, can, you know, track it and see how the transmission is changing as they make certain policy decisions," said Dr. Fox.

Helping them, and the rest of us stay ahead of the coronavirus curve.

"The stakes have never been higher. We're learning about the way COVID-19 spreads, the effects it can have, and how to best prevent it," said Fox.

As Commissioner Miller told us in March, she believes the more information government leaders and the public have, the better.

”I think individuals, the public, getting the same message will just help to make things clear and more understandable,” said Dr. Fox.

The UT COVID 19-model aims to do just that.