Between March and July 2020 Brian Castellani and Pete Barbrook-Johnson became part of the COVID-19 Community Health and Social Care Modelling Team at Durham University. The team was led by Dr Camila Caiado and Professor Brian Castellani, with the purpose of creating a series of modelling tools that Trusts and Councils in the North East of England could use to help support decisions and planning accordingly. Castellani and Barbrook-Johnson were particularly involved in developing two models.
The first model used COMPLEX-IT, a case-based, mixed-methods platform that Castellani, Barbrook-Jonnson and Corey Schimpf developed for applied social inquiry into complex data/systems. Using this first model, they provided weekly reports on COVID-19 for the local authorities in the North East of England, including short-term predictions on the case-trends for each of these 27 authorities based on similar trends in Italy’s provinces, given that the spread of COVID-19 was roughly two weeks ahead of the UK. For more on this first model and how COMPLEX-IT works, see the recent CECAN webinar by Castellani, Barbrook-Johnson and Schimpf.
The second model was created by Jennifer Badham, working with Barbrook-Johnson, Caiado and Castellani, called the COVID-19 Social interventions agent-based model. The novelty of this model is that it was created to help local stakeholders in the North East of England (councils, trusts, etc) simulate and explore the impact various governmental social planning scenarios will have on local COVID-19 transmission and disease progression (exit-strategies, social distancing measures, etc). The model is freely available on Git-Hub to anyone interested in using it. Presently the team is writing articles on both models, which will be published in 2021.
The team was under the guidance of the University’s Executive Deans, Jacqui Ramagge (Science) and Charlotte Clarke (Social Sciences and Health) and was supported, in part, through the Wolfson Research Institute for Health and Wellbeing, the Institute of Data Sciences to the University’s Health@Durham strategy, and CECAN (Centre for the study of Complexity Across the Nexus).