Safe Blues: A Method for Estimation and Control in the Fight Against COVID-19

Overview

How do fine modifications to social distancing measures really affect COVID-19 spread? At the moment, we don't know! In an imaginary world, we would develop a harmless biological virus that spreads just like COVID-19 but is traceable via cheap and reliable diagnosis. Then by spreading such an imaginary virus throughout the population, the spread of COVID-19 could be estimated because the benign virus would respond to population behaviour and social distancing measures in a similar manner to COVID-19. However, such a benign biological virus does not exist. Instead, we developed a safe and privacy-preserving digital alternative. We call this framework Safe Blues.

A diagram of the operation of Safe Blues.
A diagram of the operation of Safe Blues.
Illustration of Safe Blues on a simulated epidemic. The blue lines represent Safe Blues strands, the red markers are the true numbers of infectives, and the blue line represent a Safe Blues prediction of the state of the epidemic. The simulation assumes that real case numbers are delayed by 15 days, which reflects the reality of COVID-19: a long incubation period and mild symptoms at the start of infection mean that diagnoses are significantly delayed, while Safe Blues data is received in real time. In this way, the Safe Blues framework may provide unique, invaluable visibility into the current state of the epidemic and a powerful tool for early detection of subsequent waves or outbreaks.

Papers

April 21, 2020 Paper Safe Blues overview

Presentations and Podcasts

Selected Media

Further Media

Code and Data

(coming soon)

Contributors

For inquiries, please contact Yoni Nazarathy.

With thanks to