Infectious Disease Modelling
COVID-19 (Coronavirus) forecast models
Nicholas Reich has been on the forefront of analyzing models that forecast infectious diseases, including COVID-19. His work has been featured in publications around the world, including the New York Times, Science magazine and Foreign Policy.
Reich runs the UMass-based CDC Influenza Forecasting Center of Excellence, one of two in the nation. It has produced some of the world’s most accurate models in recent years, In April 2020 he developed a Covid-19 forecasting hub that unifies multiple models in an effort to produce a more accurate picture of the potential impacts of the novel coronavirus.
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health: Ph.D., Biostatistics
Carleton College: B.A., English
Select Media Coverage (11)
What the end of the COVID-19 emergency means for free vaccines, health data and more
CBS News online
The outside group of modelers that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention relies on to forecast trends in the virus are also planning to continue producing their projections with the agency. "We do expect to continue running COVID hospitalization and likely death forecasts too for perhaps at least another year. Case forecasts I'm not as sure about," saod Nicholas Reich, professor of biostatistics at the University of Massachusetts.
For now, wary US treads water with transformed COVID-19
Nicholas Reich comments about the current state of COVID-19. He says, "We’ve seen COVID hospitalizations increase to around 5,000 new admissions each day from just over 1,000 in early April. But deaths due to COVID have only increased slightly over the same time period."
New White House Covid projection puzzles experts and catches some Biden officials off guard
Nicholas Reich comments on the White House's latest COVID projection that the U.S. could see 100 million new COVID infections in the fall and winter if Congress doesn’t approve additional funding to fight the pandemic. Reich says, “It's an outcome that we should be thinking about and preparing for. Does it mean it's absolutely going to happen? No.”
States in the Southwest U.S. are facing COVID surges
With 60% of Americans vaccinated, Nicholas Reich says, “I wouldn't be surprised if we kept at a slow burn trajectory over the winter. I wouldn't be surprised if we continued to decline, if the childhood vaccinations really were able to help continue to push the curve down, and I wouldn't be surprised if we saw continued growth.”
U.S. covid death toll hits 1,500 a day amid delta scourge
The Washington Post online
Nicholas Reich is quoted in a news article examining the rising number of deaths attributed to the surge in cases of the delta variant of COVID-19. “Knowing what the decline is going to look like is a basically an impossible question at this point,” he says.
The Pandemic’s Lethal Twilight
New York Magazine print
At a time when about 40,000 people per day were getting sick, modelers forecast that that rate would hold steady for the next four weeks. Instead, infections soared past 105,000 per day and kept climbing into the new year. “We’ve seen the limitations of what these models can do,” says Nick Reich, a professor of biostatistics and epidemiology at UMass Amherst. “At these moments of change, unfortunately, they have not been as accurate at these moments where we really want them to be.”
Surveys of infectious disease experts aim to predict COVID-19’s toll
Science Magazine print
Statistical models of infectious disease are vital for understanding where the COVID-19 pandemic is headed. But their predictive power can be limited by sparse data and rapidly changing circumstances.
What 5 Coronavirus Models Say the Next Month Will Look Like
The New Yotk Times print
Nicholas Reich, a biostatistician who runs a seasonal flu forecasting lab at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, said it was important to collect outputs from all the models, because of the uncertainty around all the projections.
Best-Case And Worst-Case Coronavirus Forecasts Are Very Far Apart
Building a model to forecast the COVID-19 outbreak is really freaking hard. That’s one reason we’ve been following a weekly survey of infectious disease researchers from institutions around the United States.
‘Flu-like’ data might help track coronavirus spread. Why did Florida stop publishing it?
Miami Herald print
“In times like this, not having that raw data easily available to researchers limits our ability to analyze and report effectively on emerging trends of respiratory infections in Florida,” said Nicholas Reich, a professor of biostatistics and epidemiology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Data shows social distancing has slowed down the coronavirus outbreak. But what’s next?
“It seems that the press has been eager to push the narrative of ‘we are near the peak!’ and ‘the end is in sight,’ but given the strong uncertainty about the future and lack of clear consensus among modelers, I think these messages are premature,” UMass infectious disease researcher Nicholas Reich argued.