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July 29, 2020–Chicago, IL: New COVID-19 projections from Anderson Economic Group (AEG) show the disparate impacts of COVID-19 as it spread across the state. Metropolitan areas like Bloomington, Chicago, Rockford, and Springfield are experiencing declines in cases after seeing a brief second wave, while cases in Peoria, Champaign, and Carbondale continue to grow with no peak in sight.
“All of the data we have seen suggests that Bloomington, Chicago, Rockford, and Springfield will continue their downward trends in new cases in the next few weeks,” notes Brian Peterson, Anderson Economic Group’s director of public policy and economic analysis. “We saw rapid increases in new cases in these regions through the beginning of May, followed by a decline, and then a second wave when each area began to reopen. Our models right now are showing that the second wave has peaked in these areas.”
AEG experts note that while some areas are trending in the right direction, other regions like Champaign-Urbana and Carbondale are still seeing increasing second wave cases, with models unable to confidently determine whether these areas have hit their second wave peaks. Peoria also remains an area of focus as the only metropolitan area in the state that did not experience an infection peak in May.
“The course of the epidemic has varied across different parts of Illinois,” says Andrew Miller, a senior analyst with AEG. “At the moment, Peoria is a big concern. Every other metropolitan area in Illinois saw a clear peak in infections in early- to mid-May, while Peoria’s infections have not peaked at all. Our model suggests that Peoria’s infections will continue to grow in coming weeks. While we continue to monitor the case counts, we cannot say with confidence when infections there will hit a peak.”
Miller notes that COVID-19 “is very contagious, and the situation can change rapidly.” He also suggests that anyone traveling across Illinois should be cognizant of the fact that the epidemic may be worse in some areas than others. “Travelers should know that just because the epidemic is slowing in some parts of the state does not mean that it is slowing everywhere.”
Further analysis and focused commentary will be added here as it becomes available.
About Anderson Economic Group
Anderson Economic Group, LLC, is a US-based research and consulting firm that specializes in economics, public policy, commercial damages, market analysis, and tax and regulatory policy. The firm, founded in 1996, is one of the most recognized boutique consulting firms in the US.
With over 20 years of experience in economic impact modeling, Anderson Economic Group is one of the original pioneers in assessing the economic impacts of higher education. To date, we have completed over 40 such analyses for small and large institutions across the country, including Big Ten institutions such as University of Michigan and Michigan State University.
Also available: “The Costs & Consequences of the Coronavirus Pandemic: Three Lessons” presented to the Western Economics Association, June 26 Conference. Patrick Anderson’s analysis considers the dominance of empirical over simulation models, the huge cost of stay-at-home orders, and a discussion of the future of empirical models that includes a focus on AEG’s innovative two-wave models.
See the notes at bottom and the associated memorandum regarding a significant update to our forecasting methodology.
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Since February, Anderson Economic Group LLC, together with the data analytics firm Supported Intelligence, has been gathering data from multiple countries and U.S. states to model the path of the COVID-19 pandemic. We identified the situation as a crisis as early as our February 10 release, and began to release selected regional analyses in late March. Since then, we have implemented the following practices in our improved model:
- We use a two-wave generalized logistic model in conjunction with non-linear curve fitting.
- We use an improved version of the same mathematical function used for disease growth (including but not limited to the SIR model).
- Our improvements to the function include but are not limited to the ability to measure asymmetric growth, as well as secondary waves.
- We compare results across multiple states and countries.
- We show the actual data.
- We focus on a tangible concept: the number of people cases with the disease.
- We show uncertainty, units, dates, and past prediction errors.
- We use data compiled by the New York Times for most of the United States, and World-o-Meter for much of the rest of the world.
- We describe our methodology, data sources, and limitations.