U of G Disease Modelling Expert Makes Headlines

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Prof. Amy Greer, Department of Population Medicine, has spoken to several media outlets in recent weeks about global COVID-19 outbreaks and efforts to control the spread of the coronavirus that causes the illness.

Greer told the National Post that as the virus spreads, the focus will be on containing clusters of outbreaks by isolating infected people and mitigating close contact while also minimizing societal disruption.

“Containment at a global level is probably not something that is going to be possible in the long term,” she said, adding that COVID-19 could become a new, endemic virus that circulates much like influenza.

Greer also spoke to spoke to the Toronto Star about Ontario public health’s decision to expand testing for the new coronavirus in an effort to detect community transmission.

She said new cases detected under the expanded testing program would be a sign that the system is working. “I would actually find it comforting to some degree,” she said, noting it means cases are being caught early.

As the Canada Research Chair in Population Disease Modelling, she is using disease transmission models to help the federal government assess how the new coronavirus might spread and how surges in hospital demand could play out based on different scenarios.

Recently, she has conducted several interviews on the new epidemic and advice for avoiding illness.