Indianapolis native helps analyze COVID-19 data

Posted at 11:25 AM, Apr 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-03 11:25:36-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Data behind the decisions intended to help stop the spread of COVID-19 come from detailed research.

One scientist at the forefront of compiling these numbers and helping health and government leaders make difficult decisions during an infections disease outbreak is a Hoosier.

Sam Scarpino is an assistant professor at Northeastern University in Boston and a Chief Data Scientist. The Indianapolis native attended Indiana University and graduated from Broad Ripple High School.

Scarpino coordinates a research group that builds mathematical and computer simulation models of infectious disease outbreaks; he works to help public health and government leaders to translate those results into improved decision making around an outbreak.

His team found that places that have implemented measures like physical distancing take-out only and the closing of non-essential businesses have experienced a 50% decrease in mobility and commute flow.

"And how people are moving around in their daily lives," Scarpino said. "And that this amount of mobility reduction should be sufficient to flatten out the epidemic curve and reduce the overall demand on our intensive care units."

However, Scarpino says we are still very much at risk of seeing hospitals overwhelmed with the number of cases of COVID-19.