HEAL Faculty Associate awarded UWO COVID Catalyst Grant

HEAL Faculty Associate, Dr. Saverio Stranges from the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Western University, was awarded the UWO COVID Catalyst Grant for his project entitled, “The development and implementation of a real-time geospatial surveillance portal to monitor the spread of epidemics and pandemics in local communities”. The research team includes Dr. Jason Gilliland (HEAL Director), Dr. Andrew Clark (HEAL Senior Project Coordinator), Dr. Matthew Meyer (LHSC, Epidemiology & Biostatistics), Dr. Lauren Cipriano (Management Sciences), Dr. Jinefi Wang (Geography), Dr. Christopher Mackie (MLHU), Dr. Alexander Summers (MLHU), Alison Locker (MLHU), Dr. Daniel Pepe (Western Ontario Health Team), Dr. Mario Elia (OntraioMD), Brent Hall (Esri Canada Ltd), and Jon Salter (Esri Canada Ltd).

This purpose of the grant is to develop and implement a real-time geospatial portal to understand the spread of infectious disease across the city of London and Middlesex county. This tool will be piloted using local COVID-19 data and expanded to support the surveillance of other diseases. Three key research questions will be examined as part of this project:

1. How does the spread and clustering of COVID-19 cases change over time?

2. What individual, social, and physical environmental factors are associated with clusters of COVID-19 cases?

3. Can we detect emerging clusters of COVID-19 in real-time using a geospatial portal? If yes, does this detection offer value in guiding local public health policy? How can this information be effectively reported to healthcare partners (e.g., primary care)?

Stay tuned for project updates!

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