Scholarly Colloquia and Events

  • 9/17 Geography Coll. - Monitoring COVID Outbreaks in US

    Geography Colloquium, September 17, 2021, 12:20-1:15PM

    Monitoring COVID19 Outbreaks across the United States using a Prospective Scan Statistic

    Eric Delmelle, University of North Carolina at Charlotte & University of Eastern Finland

    Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was first identified in Wuhan, China in December 2019, and is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome. The first US case was reported on January 20th 2020, and although the first outbreaks were contained in the pacific Northwest and Chicago, it has spread throughout all countries across the US. Rapid detection of infectious disease is critical to better allocate resources and improve decision-making as the outbreaks continue to grow. Using daily case data at the county level provided by Johns Hopkins University, we conducted a prospective spatial-temporal analysis with SaTScan, which can “active” and emerging clusters that are present. We demonstrate the usefulness of our approach in detecting statistically significant space-time clusters of COVID-19 at the county level in the U.S. between January 22nd-March 9th, 2020, and January 22nd-March 27th, 2020. These timely results can inform public health officials and decision makers about where to improve the allocation of resources, testing sites; also, where to implement stricter quarantines and travel bans. As more data becomes available, the statistic can be rerun to support timely surveillance of COVID-19, demonstrated here.


    Michael Desjardins, Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University

    Alexander Hohl, Ph.D., University of Utah

    Yu Lan, Ph.D. candidate, University of North Carolina at Charlotte


    Colloquium will be conductd by Webex, see Geography Dept. website for link.


    For more information, contact: Peter Chen at