COVID-19 Policy Alliance

Resources and Media

Webinar

Managing COVID-19 High-Risk Population Clusters

This report highlights data analytic tools created by the Alliance to enable states to identify the highest risk facilities and localities – those with clusters of individuals over 65 or with relevant health issues. Targeted action can reduce strain on local hospital systems. 

Report #2

Urgent Problems that can be solved with State Telehealth Platforms

This document describes an emergency operational strategy that leverages telehealth technology and extensive analytics that could allow the state to manage the coming COVID-19 outbreak, with minimal fatalities and while preserving the sustainable operation of state health systems. The plan includes imperatives that, if not followed, create a very high risk of following the path of countries like Italy.

Provide triage through the teleheath system for people who want to be tested. Evaluate appropriateness and schedule appointments at designated sites to ensure load management across testing sites.

Provide medical attention while  people with mild case infections recover away from hospitals and clinics.

Provide remote routine medical attention and support to nursing homes, assisted care, and high-risk individual in their homes.

Report #1

Creating a Coordinated Federal Telehealth Response to COVID-19

We need to ensure that hospitals are not overwhelmed by patients with minor, non-life-threatening symptoms who can be treated elsewhere, that medical professionals are not exposed more than is necessary, and that care is focused on high-risk patients.

The Administration should establish a National COVID-19 Center (NCC), charged with making telehealth services available to everyone.

Telehealth companies, working with cloud computing companies and under the direction of the government, will spin-up the digital services needed to allow mass enrollment of clinicians so that health care professionals can reach patients in all parts of the country.

"The COVID Tracking Project collects information from 50 US states, the District of Columbia, and 5 other US territories to provide the most comprehensive testing data we can collect for the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2. We attempt to include positive and negative results, pending tests, and total people tested for each state or district currently reporting that data."

The COVID Tracking Project 
Daily Data Updates

“...our elected, business and other leaders should not expect to be rewarded for doing the right thing. If leaders at all levels take the actions now needed, and they work, so that the epidemic is mild, with few deaths, then we can bequite sure that, later, some people will accuse them of overreacting and causing economic harm for no reason. That is the burden of leadership.

Collective Leadership for the Pandemic
Professor John Sterman, MIT Sloan School of Management

Friday, March 13th

Webinar on COVID-19

MIT Sloan School of Management

Friday, March 13th

MIT professors Simon Johnson and Retsef Levi, Amwel CEO Roy Schoenberg, and other experts across many different fields present technical and policy options to combat the spread of COVID-19. 

A coordinated, Boston-wide response to COVID-19

MGH Medical Grand Rounds

Thursday, March 12th

Medical experts from Boston-area universities and medical centers present the latest publications and technical facts on COVID-19, and options to respond. 

See Also: Greater Boston Consortium on Pathogen Readiness

basics
  • COVID-19 is a non-segmented, positive sense RNA virus.

  • COVID-19 is part of the family of coronaviruses.  This contains:

    • (i) Four coronaviruses which are widely distributed and usually cause the common cold (but can cause viral pneumonia in patients with comorbidities).

    • (ii) SARS and MERS – these caused epidemics with high mortality which are somewhat similar to COVID-19.  COVID-19 is most closely related to SARS.

  • It binds via the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor located on type II alveolar cells and intestinal epithelia (Hamming 2004).

    • This is the same receptor as used by SARS (hence the technical name for the COVID-19, “SARS-CoV-2”).

    • When considering possible therapies, SARS (a.k.a. “SARS-CoV-1”) is the most closely related virus to COVID-19.

  • COVID-19 is mutating, which may complicate matters even further (figure below).  Virulence and transmission will shift over times, in ways which we cannot predict.  New evidence suggests that there are roughly two different groups of COVID-19. This explains why initial reports from Wuhan described a higher mortality than some more recent case series (Tang et al. 2020; Xu et al 2020).

    • 👁 Image showing evolution of COVID-19 here.

    • Ongoing phylogenetic mapping of new strains can be found here.

Internet Book of Critical Care (IBCC) - COVID-19

Professor Josh Farkas, M.D., University of Vermont

Most recently updated Monday, March 16th

A no-frills but technically very extensive compilation of basic medical knowledge on COVID-19.

A drive-in coronavirus testing station setting up in Israel

COVID Alliance

Tuesday, March 17th

A crew in Tel Aviv, Israel describes the drive-in coronavirus testing station they are setting up. 

Translation: We are here in Joshua Park in Tel Aviv, and we built what is called a “drive-in”. We will release a message to the public and slowly what will happen is people will arrive here in their own private cars. They will stand in the lanes, while for each of these lanes there will be a control system with cameras that will read the app of each of us, of course those who downloaded it. And after we read it and verify your personal information, you will continue to the next station. There, you will meet a sampler, roll down your car window, peek your head out, and the sampler will take a sample from you for testing. From there, you will continue to the following station, enter a closed area and from there to be refrigerated and from there to the labs, where the samples with be checked.

Drive through testing for coronavirus in West Palm Beach

Miami Herald

Tuesday, March 17th

FoundCare staff members give coronavirus tests to people in a drive through at the FoundCare parking lot in West Palm Beach, Florida on Tuesday, March 17, 2020.

What It’s Like to Take a Drive-Through Coronavirus Test

Wall Street Journal
Monday, March 16th

As coronavirus spreads across the world, countries are setting up drive-through clinics to make it easier for their citizens to get tested. WSJ’s Andrew Jeong visited a test site in South Korea to see how it works.

Help with COVID

Community message board for COVID-19 projects looking for volunteers.

FindHelp.org

“Find food assistance, help paying bills, and other free or reduced cost programs that help people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Developed by Aunt Bertha 
“Aunt Bertha’s network connects people seeking help and verified social care providers that serve them.”