One month in, how Biden has changed disaster management and the US COVID-19 response

Developing a national disaster response plan for the pandemic was only step one.

Melanie Gall, Clinical Professor and Co-Director, Center for Emergency Management and Homeland Security, Watts College, Arizona State University • conversation
Feb. 18, 2021 ~8 min

CDC says masks must fit tightly – and two are better than one

How well your mask works depends on how well it fits. Wearing two snug masks made of different materials offers 95% protection from exposure to aerosols that could contain the coronavirus.

Scott N. Schiffres, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Binghamton University, State University of New York • conversation
Feb. 11, 2021 ~9 min

The cold supply chain can't reach everywhere – that's a big problem for equitable COVID-19 vaccination

So far, the only COVID-19 vaccines authorized for use need to be kept frozen. But there are many places in the world that can't support a cold supply chain.

Charles M. Schweik, Professor of Environmental Conservation, University of Massachusetts Amherst • conversation
Jan. 4, 2021 ~7 min

International Statistic of the Year: Race for a COVID-19 vaccine

The coronavirus vaccine was developed faster than any vaccine in history. It took just 332 days from the first sequencing of the virus genome to the first vaccines given to the public.

Liberty Vittert, Professor of the Practice of Data Science, Washington University in St Louis • conversation
Dec. 18, 2020 ~5 min

FDA authorized first over-the-counter COVID-19 test – useful but not a game changer

A new over-the-counter COVID-19 test has been authorized by the FDA. Though it can be used to test people with and without symptoms, moderate cost and limited production mean it isn't a game-changer.

Zoë McLaren, Associate Professor of Public Policy, University of Maryland, Baltimore County • conversation
Dec. 17, 2020 ~5 min

Rapid COVID-19 tests can be useful – but there are far too few to put a dent in the pandemic

In September, production of rapid tests really ramped up in the US. But due to low accuracy and massive numbers needed, these tests alone are unlikely to have much of an effect on the pandemic.

Katherine Ellingson, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Arizona • conversation
Dec. 1, 2020 ~8 min

President-elect Biden's new COVID-19 task force gives the US a fresh chance to turn around a public health disaster

Biden will begin his presidency in the midst of a global public health crisis that's already killed over 240,000 people in the US alone. His team is already planning how to get COVID-19 under control.

Catherine Lynne Troisi, Associate Professor of Management, Policy, and Community Health and Epidemiology, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston • conversation
Nov. 13, 2020 ~7 min

An epidemiologist explains the new CDC guidance on 15 minutes of exposure and what it means for you

New guidance from the CDC says that 15 minutes of exposure – regardless of whether that occurs at one time – can result in transmission of the coronavirus.

Ryan Malosh, Assistant Research Scientist, University of Michigan • conversation
Oct. 23, 2020 ~6 min

Do we have to toss Halloween out the window this year, too? Public health experts give some guidelines

There are plenty of ways to enjoy the holiday without trick-or-treating, but you still need to make sure you are socially distancing and wearing a mask – and not just one for Halloween.

Meg Sorg, Clinical Assistant Professor of Nursing, Purdue University • conversation
Oct. 23, 2020 ~5 min

279,700 extra deaths in the US so far in this pandemic year

Health statisticians keep careful tabs on how many people die every week. Based on what's happened in past years, they know what to expect – but 2020 death counts are surging beyond predictions.

Ronald D. Fricker Jr., Professor of Statistics and Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Administration, Virginia Tech • conversation
Oct. 14, 2020 ~7 min