Medical Minute: Developing COVID-19 Strategies With Math

Apr 25, 2020

In this week’s Medical Minute, Dr. Joseph Hobbs, chairman of the Department of Family Medicine at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University, discusses how mathematical modelers are helping health care providers develop effective strategies for managing the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Medical Minute airs at 8:18 a.m., 1:20 p.m. and 5:18 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday on the 17 GPB radio stations across Georgia. For more Medical Minute episodes, visit the Medical Minute 2020 SoundCloud page.


We have all heard divergent numbers about the incidence of COVID-19 in this and other countries. Mathematical modelers tell us they can take reported rates and project a more realistic number. Better numbers enable better preparation by hospitals and other health care providers … and better prevention strategies to reduce the spread of the extremely infectious coronavirus. Modelers took reported cases numbers, then factored in “knowns” like the density and age distribution of the population, numbers living in urban areas, and the virus’ high probability of transmission. An early April assessment in the U.S. indicated, for example, about 2 cases out of 3 were being reported, which means another 194,000 Americans didn’t know they were infected at that moment. Stay safe out there.  I’m Dr. Joseph Hobbs.