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CHOP PolicyLab says cases will continue to accelerate in Delaware in the coming weeks

Sophia Schmidt
Delaware Public Media

The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s (CHOP) PolicyLab predicts the upward trend of coronavirus cases to continue in Delaware.

Policy Lab researchers say cases will continue to rise in all three Delaware counties in the coming weeks. And they say the case numbers in New Castle County could as much as double in that time to between 900 and 1,000 cases per day.

Dr. Brian Fisher is Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania and a faculty scholar at CHOP’s PolicyLab.

He says overall PolicyLab has been “reasonably good” at predicting trends of coronavirus cases within the window of one to four weeks.

“Our predictions are not what is going to happen, they’re what’s predicted to happen, and I liken our modeling to weather predictions,” said Fisher. “If your weather person tells you it’s going to rain, you’re going to take your umbrella with you. We’re trying to tell you to take your mask with and to avoid crowded, large gathering places.”  

PolicyLab uses cell phone data to track social distancing in counties across the country, and Fisher says privacy laws limits their research.

“So we’re not getting to the individual level that you might see in data that come out of other countries where they’re able to monitor and use individual cell phone data in a more nuanced way than we are here in the United States,” he said.  

Fisher says he expects the availability of a vaccine to reduce the number of susceptible individuals from the data pool and blunt the peaks in coronavirus cases.

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