Peak nearing, Iowa begins contract to create COVID-19 models

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Iowa Department of Public Health deputy director Sarah Reisetter updates the state’s response to the coronavirus outbreak during a news conference at the State Emergency Operations Center, Thursday, April 9, 2020, in Johnston, Iowa. Weeks into the coronavirus outbreak, Iowa hospitals have been ordered to report daily statistics to the state on the number of patients they’re treating and whether they have enough resources.(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, pool)

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Experts working to develop models to help Iowa public health officials predict and manage the coronavirus pandemic are racing against time.

A contract shows the Iowa Department of Public Health and the University of Iowa College of Public Health didn’t reach a formal agreement to work together to create Iowa-specific pandemic models until April 7.

The agreement calls for the college to produce predictive models within two weeks of receiving the department’s coronavirus data, or on another mutually agreed upon schedule.

The goal of the models is to help Iowa public health officials and Gov. Kim Reynolds predict the severity of the outbreak and make decisions about specific mitigation strategies.

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