COVID-19 Policy Alliance

In the Press

"Nursing home administrators say one of their biggest issues right now is attracting employees to fill gaps at facilities. A shortage of workers has existed for some time, but COVID-19 has accentuated the problem as cases and deaths at nursing homes have risen dramatically, sending many workers home with the disease and scaring others away."

Virus Notes: Mass Takes Step off COVID-19 Plateau
May 1st

Bruce Mohl, Commonwealth Magazine

"The residents of long-term care facilities cannot care for themselves. The National Guard has stepped up to aid in testing, but there are not enough of these heroes to plug all the gaps. The people at greatest risk are our parents, grandparents, and those who care for them. The consequences of failing them are unimaginable."

How to Reduce Coronavirus Deaths in Nursing Homes
April 17th

Simon Johnson, Kate Kellogg, and Retsef Levi, Boston Globe Opinion

"We need to know where our weapons are. We need to coordinate all of that," said Retsef Levi, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor leading a health-care data initiative called the COVID-19 Policy Alliance. "This is a war."

How a Surge of Coronavirus Patients Could Stretch Hospital Resources in Your Area
April 10th

Amy Brittain, Ted Mellnik, Dan Keating, and Joe Fox, The Washington Post

"To begin the long climb back to an active economy, open schools, and a sense of normal life without reigniting another wave of the outbreak, we must start to build the information and response systems necessary to sustain a different public health strategy: targeted social distancing. At local, state, and federal levels, we need the ability to rapidly identify emerging hot spots and infected individuals, and to appropriately place the respective individuals and their direct contacts — sometimes perhaps even entire communities and neighborhoods —– into protective self-isolation. This strategy also puts great focus on protecting all high-risk people, the elderly, and chronic patients with comorbidities."

Targeted Social Distancing — The Way to Reopen the Economy and Keep it Open
April 10th
Simon Johnson and Retsef Levi, Boston Globe Opinion

"'I’m worried that New York might not be the worst-case scenario when you think about other states that have even older and less-healthy populations, and fewer hospital beds available,' said Retsef Levi, a professor of operations management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who has developed modeling tools designed to help public officials prepare for the spread of the novel virus and the disease it causes, covid-19."

'It's No Different from New York': Urban Centers Nationwide Gird for Catastrophic Virus Outbreak
March 28th

Isaac Stanley-BeckerAriana Eunjung Cha, and Chelsea Janes, The Washington Post

"The key concept we must address is high-risk clusters. These are places like a senior living facility, a ZIP code, or a county that has a dense concentration of high-risk patients. Identifying high-risk clusters and managing the risk they pose is central to avoiding the hospital crash scenarios observed in Italy and Spain."

A Possible Path To Protect Our Economy and Hospitals from the Coronavirus
March 26th

Simon Johnson and Retsef Levi, Boston Globe Opinion

"The coronavirus is moving at a blurring rate. But researchers, doctors, and health officials still have a lot to learn from even the most recent events. That’s why a group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has released a set of tools aimed at helping officials find the people most likely to suffer negative effects from the coronavirus. Included in those resources are a couple of maps that identify the most risk-prone counties all around the U.S."

"Covid-19 threatens every senior living and care community across the country, but not all of them face the same level of risk. An interactive map tool has been developed out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) that assigns a risk score to nursing homes around the country by ZIP code, and also identifies the number of assisted living beds in those areas."