At the start of 2020, David Bortz, like most Coloradans, didn’t know what a coronavirus was. Then Bortz, an associate professor in the Department of Applied Mathematics, joined the state’s COVID-19 modeling team.
Think of it as an epidemiological dream team: Formed in March, this group of scientists from across Colorado worked long hours to give public health officials timely guidance on how various measures might slow or accelerate the spread of the virus.
Bortz and his colleagues used mathematical and statistical modeling to answer questions like: Would loosening social distancing restrictions put a new strain on hospital intensive care units? How quickly could the state reopen bars and restaurants? When should Colorado residents wear masks?
“The scientific community in Colorado, and worldwide, has redirected an enormous amount of resources to tackle this crisis,” Bortz said.