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  1. The deployment of vaccines across the US provides significant defense against serious illness and death from COVID-19. Over 70% of vaccine-eligible Americans are at least partially vaccinated, but there are pockets of the population that are under-vaccinated, such as in rural areas and some demographic groups (e.g. age, race, ethnicity). These unvaccinated pockets are extremely susceptible to the Delta variant, exacerbating the healthcare crisis and increasing the risk of new variants. In this paper, we describe a data-driven model that provides real-time support to Virginia public health officials by recommending mobile vaccination site placement in order to target under-vaccinated populations.more »Our strategy uses fine-grained mobility data, along with US Census and vaccination uptake data, to identify locations that are most likely to be visited by unvaccinated individuals. We further extend our model to choose locations that maximize vaccine uptake among hesitant groups. We show that the top recommended sites vary substantially across some demographics, demonstrating the value of developing customized recommendation models that integrate fine-grained, heterogeneous data sources. In addition, we used a statistically equivalent Synthetic Population to study the effect of combined demographics (eg, people of a particular race and age), which is not possible using US Census data alone. We validate our recommendations by analyzing the success rates of deployed vaccine sites, and show that sites placed closer to our recommended areas administered higher numbers of doses. Our model is the first of its kind to consider evolving mobility patterns in real-time for suggesting placement strategies customized for different targeted demographic groups. Our results will be presented at IAAI-22, but given the critical nature of the pandemic, we offer this extended version of that paper for more timely consideration of our approach and to cover additional findings.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 19, 2022
  2. High resolution mobility datasets have become increasingly available in the past few years and have enabled detailed models for infectious disease spread including those for COVID-19. However, there are open questions on how such a mobility data can be used effectively within epidemic models and for which tasks they are best suited. In this paper, we extract a number of graph-based proximity metrics from high resolution cellphone trace data from X-Mode and use it to study COVID-19 epidemic spread in 50 land grant university counties in the US. We present an approach to estimate the effect of mobility on casesmore »by fitting an ODE based model and performing multivariate linear regression to explain the estimated time varying transmissibility. We find that, while mobility plays a significant role, the contribution is heterogeneous across the counties, as exemplified by a subsequent correlation analysis. We subsequently evaluate the metrics’ utility for case surge prediction defined as a supervised classification problem, and show that the learnt model can predict surges with 95% accuracy and 87% F1-score.« less
  3. Reopening of colleges and universities for the Fall semester of 2020 across the United States has caused signi ficant COVID-19 case spikes, requiring reactive responses such as temporary closures and switching to online learning. Until sufficient levels of immunity are reached through vaccination, Institutions of Higher Education will need to balance academic operations with COVID-19 spread risk within and outside the student community. In this work, we study the impact of proximity statistics obtained from high resolution mobility traces in predicting case rate surges in university counties. We focus on 50 land-grant university counties (LGUCs) across the country and showmore »high correlation (PCC > 0.6) between proximity statistics and COVID-19 case rates for several LGUCs during the period around Fall 2020 reopenings. These observations provide a lead time of up to 3 weeks in preparing resources and planning containment efforts. We also show how features such as total population, population affiliated with university, median income and case rate intensity could explain some of the observed high correlation. We believe these easily explainable mobility metrics along with other disease surveillance indicators can help universities be better prepared for the Spring 2021 semester.« less