To support evidence-based decisions by our county and state leaders that impact our North Carolina citizens during this historic pandemic, the DHIT team has developed the Community Confidence dashboard. The metrics you see here are based on vetted data sources, statistical and disease dynamics models, and findings from key COVID-19 research groups published in many top scientific journals. In addition to relying on the scientific community’s rapidly changing understanding of COVID-19, the DHIT team has developed a novel modeling framework that addresses the key challenge of this pandemic: how do we balance the physical health and the economic health of our communities?
Behind our Community Confidence score are analytical models that incorporate disease dynamics and community preference. The Community Confidence score itself results from a Choice Experiment in which North Carolinians were systematically polled to understand how they prioritize various elements related to the pandemic. Analysis of the thousands of responses yields an understanding of the preferences, priorities and tolerances of our state residents. Community members and leaders, therefore, look to the Community Confidence score as a measure of how acceptable the current scenario is (in the case of the County tab), or how preferable a potential scenario would be (in the case of changes under consideration in the Simulation tab).
However, coupled with the Choice Experiment algorithm is a disease dynamics model that tracks the trajectory of spread in our North Carolina counties. To predict how changes in policy or behavior will impact COVID-19, we apply either a spread reduction factor or a spread increase factor, using findings from key research groups. For example, when an action is considered to mitigate COVID-19 spread such as closing all restaurants, our modeling takes this action into account and projects the impact on short-term future cases and deaths. The combination of projected cases, deaths, and economic and behavioral factors (the closure of restaurants, and other similar factors), is a scenario. This scenario is then rated by our Choice Experiment algorithm to gauge Community Confidence in that decision or policy along with the projected COVID-19 impacts.
Our Data Sources
Our data sources include the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, providing us with daily COVID-19 data for every county in North Carolina, the US Census Bureau, ClimaCell weather data, and SafeGraph data regarding mobility behavior.
Our Knowledge Sources
To effectively deliver valuable insights to North Carolinians, we leverage the findings and methods from the broader COVID-19 research community, including the following resources:
- Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME)
- Numerous scientific journal articles