artist's rendering of COVID-19

School of Medicine’s Scott Williams shares his thoughts on outbreak models and potential outcomes

Why are different coronavirus models predicting a wide range of outcomes in Ohio? Scott Williams, professor of population and quantitative health sciences, gave thoughts on COVID-19 outbreak models, saying they predict a likely range of outcomes that will happen 95% of the time—likening the process to the casino game of roulette. Gamblers bet that a ball will land on either red or black at 1-to-1 odds, while winning on any single number, however, is much more difficult: “The point estimates are almost certainly going to be incorrect. There are so many things that factor into that. Knowing the range of where you’re going to be is going to be more useful.”