Modeling Results

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

About the model

When Colorado Gov. Jared Polis and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) needed to respond to the rapidly worsening COVID-19 pandemic, they needed data and projections of the pandemic’s course based upon Colorado data. A team was quickly assembled by the Colorado School of Public Health (ColoradoSPH) to collaborate with CDPHE on epidemic modeling—the basic approach for generating the needed information for decision-making. 

These models are mathematical representations that reflect how viruses affect populations: infecting those who are susceptible, making some ill and in need of hospital and critical care, and leading to death for some. The models are used to examine how different measures, like closing restaurants and bars, slow and diminish the epidemic. Remembering that a model is a simulation of the world, none “are correct” but they should be useful and allow people to make hypotheses about the trajectory of a disease and the impacts of different policies and behavior changes. 

About the team

In response to the CDPHE request, Dean Samet put together an interdisciplinary and interinstitutional team that brought complementary expertise for epidemiological modeling including other experts from our school, the University of Colorado School of Medicine, the University of Colorado Boulder, the University of Colorado Denver, and Colorado State University. 

In addition to ColoradoSPH Dean Jon Samet, MD, MS, the team includes:

  • Katie Colborn, PhD, MSPH, assistant professor in the Department of Surgery at the CU School of Medicine and in biostatistics and informatics at ColoradoSPH, an expert in modeling vector-borne diseases like malaria
  • Elizabeth Carlton, PhD, MPH, associate professor of environmental and occupational health at ColoradoSPH, who brings experience in infectious disease epidemiology and disease control
  • David Bortz, PhD, associate professor of applied mathematics at CU Boulder, a mathematical biologist who has used his experience in HIV infection spread to hone the model
  • Andrea Buchwald, PhD, research associate in the Center for Innovative Design & Analysis
  • Debashis Ghosh, PhD, professor and chair of the Department of Biostatistics & Informatics at ColoradoSPH
  • Richard Lindrooth, PhD, professor of health systems, management and policy at ColoradoSPH
  • Tatiane Santos, PhD, UPenn Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics Post-Doctoral Fellow and adjunct instructor in health systems, management and policy at ColoradoSPH
  • jimi adams, PhD, a social scientist​ and associate professor of health and behavioral sciences at CU Denver 
  • Jude Bayham, PhD, assistant professor of agricultural and resource economics at Colorado State University

Results and reports

Model documentation and updated parameter estimates are hosted on under the "Documentation" tab.

September 11, 2020 Modeling Report


August 21, 2020 Modeling Report


July 16, 2020 Modeling Report


July 9, 2020 Governor announces new interactive modeling app from Colorado School of Public Health scientists


July 6, 2020 Colorado COVID-19 Boundaries & Mobility-Identified Communities Report


June 10, 2020 Colorado COVID-19 Contact Tracing Report


May 29, 2020 Colorado COVID-19 Modeling Report

View the slides from the June 1 press briefing.

May 23, 2020 Colorado COVID-19 Modeling Report

View the presentation slides from the May 26 press briefing.

May 14, 2020 Colorado COVID-19 Mobility Report​

April 27, 2020 Recording: Controlling the COVID-19 Epidemic in Colorado

This livestream was a collaborative event with the Denver Museum of Nature & Science and Institute for Science & Policy.

April 20, 2020 Colorado COVID-19 Modeling Report​

View the presentation slides from the April 20 webinar.

April 13, 2020 The COVID-19 Pandemic and Colorado-Epidemiology in Action

View the presentation slides from the April 13 webinar.

April 6, 2020 Colorado COVID-19 Modeling Report

April 1, 2020 COVID-19 Epidemic Curve for Colorado (updated)

March 26, 2020​ COVID-19 Epidemic Curve for Colorado