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Isabel Fulcher (Harvard University), "Using routinely collected data to quantify the burden of COVID-19: proceed, but with caution"
Valid estimates for the number of SARS-CoV-2 infections is imperative for assessing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic within specific populations. Here, we discuss ongoing efforts aimed at understanding the state of the pandemic in two different contexts. First, we focus on seven low- and middle-income countries where COVID-19 testing has been limited. We propose using aggregated health systems data to perform syndromic surveillance and detect potential outbreaks. Second, we focus locally on the City of Holyoke, Massachusetts where testing is readily available, but racial and ethnic disparities in testing may obscure the toll of COVID-19 in historically marginalized communities. Specifically, progress is limited by: (1) missing information on race and ethnicity in the testing data and (2) selection bias resulting from access to testing. We provide a discussion on statistical approaches that can account for these complexities.
The Applied Statistics Workshop (Gov 3009) is a forum for graduate students, faculty, and visiting scholars to present and discuss methodological or empirical work in progress in an interdisciplinary setting. The workshop features a tour of Harvard's statistical innovations and applications with weekly stops in different fields and disciplines and includes occasional presentations by invited speakers. It is co-hosted by Harvard University's Department of Government and Institute for Quantitative Social Science (IQSS).
For more information, visit the Applied Statistics website.