Colloquium: Operating under uncertainty:Statistical thinking in the earlystages of the COVID-19 pandemic

David Kline, PhD
Wake Forest University School of Medicine
Operating under uncertainty: Statistical thinking in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic
ZSR Auditorium
Tuesday, November 14th 11:00am

The COVID-19 pandemic impacted all of our lives and reporting on epidemiological data became almost a routine, daily occurrence. In 2020, I was on the Ohio State Comprehensive Monitoring Team that advised the Ohio Department of Health. One important theme throughout my work was operating under uncertainty. As with any novel disease, there was uncertainty about the disease itself. However, there was also uncertainty about the data that we could collect to try to understand rates of infection across space and time and to identify emerging areas of concern. It was critical to consider this uncertainty within the decision-making process. During this talk, I will focus on the role of statistical thinking when facing new challenges and how to effectively communicate with stakeholders in the “real world”. I will discuss these ideas through 2 examples: a seroprevalence study and general disease surveillance
in the presence of reporting lag.