We present two different scenarios for a second wave of the COVID-19 epidemic in Illinois and simulate them using our previously described age-of-infection model, calibrated to real-time hospital and deaths data. In the first scenario we assume that the parameters of the second wave in Illinois would be similar to those currently observed in other states such as Arizona, Florida, and Texas. We estimate doubling times of hospitalizations and test positivity in all states with relevant publicly available data and calculate the corresponding effective reproduction numbers for Illinois. These parameters are remarkably consistent in states with rapidly growing epidemics. We conjecture that the emergence of the second wave of the epidemic in these states can be attributed to superspreading events at large parties, crowded bars, and indoor dining. In our second, more optimistic scenario we assume changes in Illinois state policy would result in successful mitigation of superspreading events and thus would lower the effective reproduction number to the value observed in late June 2020. In this case our calculations show effective suppression of the second wave in Illinois. Our analysis also suggests that the logarithmic time derivatives of COVID-19 hospitalizations and case positivity can serve as a simple but strong early-warning signal of the onset of a second wave.
- severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)
- Novel coronavirus