Professor develops data to project COVID-19 peak in Capital Region


TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute computer sciences professor has developed data predicting when COVID-19 will reach peak infection in the Capital Region.

Dr. Malik Magdon-Ishmal compiled the information after he was unable to find any graphs projecting how the virus will affect people outside of New York and the United States.

“People were mostly giving opinions. ‘I think this and ‘I don’t think that,'” Magdon-Ishmal said.

His data shows what could happen if 75 percent of the population stays home. He landed on the percentage as an estimate to how many people he thinks are actually staying home right now.

The graphs project a margin of error for the peak as early as May 9 and as late as mid-June. The model projects an infection peak date in early June.

Magdon-Ishmal admits there are obstacles to an accurate prediction. Some of those include whether more or less people than the 75 percent are staying home and the accuracy of the county infection numbers.

“If the predictions are right it can restore faith in this kind of modeling. I think that’s important because early on you don’t have anything else [to rely on],” Magdon-Ishmal said.

Magdon-Ishmal said the data will help officials make decisions, but it can also help future generations if a pandemic like this happens again.

“Right now we’re playing it out by ear, but hopefully we can use these lessons to be more informed on how it will play out,” Magdon-Ishmal.

Data used for the graph only accounts for infection projections up to April 10.

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