Modeling COVID-19 Dynamics in Illinois under Nonpharmaceutical Interventions

George N. Wong, Zachary J. Weiner, Alexei V. Tkachenko, Ahmed Elbanna, Sergei Maslov, Nigel Goldenfeld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present modeling of the COVID-19 epidemic in Illinois, USA, capturing the implementation of a stay-at-home order and scenarios for its eventual release. We use a non-Markovian age-of-infection model that is capable of handling long and variable time delays without changing its model topology. Bayesian estimation of model parameters is carried out using Markov chain Monte Carlo methods. This framework allows us to treat all available input information, including both the previously published parameters of the epidemic and available local data, in a uniform manner. To accurately model deaths as well as demand on the healthcare system, we calibrate our predictions to total and in-hospital deaths as well as hospital and ICU bed occupancy by COVID-19 patients. We apply this model not only to the state as a whole but also its subregions in order to account for the wide disparities in population size and density. Without prior information on nonpharmaceutical interventions, the model independently reproduces a mitigation trend closely matching mobility data reported by Google and Unacast. Forward predictions of the model provide robust estimates of the peak position and severity and also enable forecasting the regional-dependent results of releasing stay-at-home orders. The resulting highly constrained narrative of the epidemic is able to provide estimates of its unseen progression and inform scenarios for sustainable monitoring and control of the epidemic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number041033
JournalPhysical Review X
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 16 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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