The UGA Center for the Ecology of Infectious Diseases (CEID)
Coronavirus Working Group


Op-ed by CEID Director John Drake

Dr. John Drake urges swift, decisive action to curb spread of COVID-19.

In an op-ed in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, CEID Director Dr. John Drake has called for immediate and decisive intervention to slow the spread of COVID-19. Based on a study of government intervention in China following the initial outbreak of COVID-19 in Wuhan, CEID researchers found a very strong correlation (90%) between how early a major intervention was imposed in a province and the ultimate severity of the outbreak there. The results show that early action yields critical gains, with every delay of 3.8 days leading to a tenfold increase in cases.

Opinion: Now’s the time to act on coronavirus. Guest column. Atlanta Journal-Constitution, March 13, 2020

COVID-19 Global Pandemic

On December 31, 2019, the World Health Organization was notified about the emergence of a novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) in Wuhan, China. In the first weeks of January 2020, the viral disease (COVID-19) caused by SARS-CoV-2 spread across China and emerged in several other countries. Coinciding media reports about an alarming number of accumulating cases further indicated that the spread of the virus would likely become a global concern in a matter of days. On January 21, 2020, the CDC activated its emergency response system. On March 11, the WHO declared a global pandemic.

2019 Coronavirus Tracker

Due to the lack of prior data during the emergence of a novel pathogen, the ability to respond quickly and effectively depends on the timely assessment of information collected in real time. On January 24, 2020, the The Center for the Ecology of Infectious Diseases (CEID) at the University of Georgia formed the Coronavirus Working Group, a group of about 20 scientists with data science expertise in data manipulation and interpretation, visualization, GIS, machine learning, computational statistics, and dynamical modeling.

The Working Group’s 2019 Coronavirus Tracker provides data-driven, information rich situation awareness about the rapidly changing conditions of the current outbreak of COVID-19. Activities include:

  • Mapping the spatial spread of COVID-19 within China and abroad
  • Developing models for understanding the early stages of transmission and extrapolation to future events
  • Estimating key parameters related to transmission
  • Compiling clinical and epidemiological information to aid in the development and interpretation of model outputs as well as understanding of events as they are observed
  • Assessing the effectiveness of public health interventions on containment


The Center for the Ecology of Infectious Diseases (CEID) is a research unit housed in the Odum School of Ecology at the University of Georgia. The mission of the CEID is to bring together social and natural scientists through data science, basic biology, and scientific synthesis.

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Latest News & Updates

Nowcast of outbreak size

March 27, 2020
The nowcast of the COVID-19 outbreak size by US state has launched on the 2019 Coronavirus Tracker. The nowcast is an estimate of the total number of unreported cases by state. Nowcasts are estimated for the 50 states and for the US as a whole, and are calculated from COVID-19 case reports and fatalities.

Stochastic model for Georgia

March 15, 2020
The 2019 Coronavirus Tracker now includes a stochastic model for the COVID-19 outbreak in the state of Georgia.

Effect of early intervention

March 15, 2020
CEID has released an anlysis of the effect of early intervention on its 2019 Coronavirus Tracker. The analysis of intervention timing and outbreak size by province in China clearly demonstrates the importance of early intervention.

Estimating final outbreak size

March 3, 2020
The CEID Coronavirus Tracker now includes a model that provides insight into the final size of the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. The model estimates global outbreak sizes by probabilistically incorporating the sparking of new local outbreaks across the globe. The model estimates outbreak sizes for best-case, worst-case and average-case scenarios under a range of assumptions, including how fast local containment efforts improve.

Assessing the impact of mass screening and testing

February 21, 2020
The CEID Coronavirus Working Group has released an assessment of the impact of symptom-based mass screening and testing intervention (MSTI) during novel disease outbreaks to help understand how current mass testing and screening may be affecting the COVID-19 outbreak in China.

Estimates of case fatality rate added

February 20, 2020
Estimates of the case fatality rate CFR have been added to the Epidemic Characteristics page. The case fatality rate is the death rate among those with COVID-19 disease.