CHICAGO (CBS) — With the need for COVID-19 vaccine boosters nationally and the return of masks locally, what is the forecast for cases in the next few weeks? Will cases drop soon? CBS 2’s Chris Tye went inside the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s data to explain how they nail down which forecast to believe both at home and nationally.
In the same way there are various forecast models for severe weather, there are various modeling agencies that forecast where the pandemic is going.
The people at Pandemic Central, which studies this sort of thing, have the most dramatic spike in forecasted cases for Cook County — a through the roof forecast model. Those with Facebook Artificial Intelligence have the lowest forecasted number.
The CDC creates an ensemble average of all of these forecast models and shows what they average out to be. In Cook County it looks to be a uptick, however slight, over the next few weeks into mid September.
There are more forecast models to look at for the national average, and the most grim model comes from the folks at Columbia University and the University of North Carolina. Together they are working on a data set of their own with a large spike in forecasted cases. The least concerning forecast comes from a university out of the Czech Republic.
The ensemble view shows also a similar slight uptick over the next few weeks.
So the CDC does not take one modeler over the rest. It’s the ensemble view that it thinks gives the most accurate picture of where cases are going.