State-level needs for social distancing and contact tracing to contain COVID-19 in the United States. Academic Article uri icon


  • Starting in mid-May 2020, many US states began relaxing social-distancing measures that were put in place to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. To evaluate the impact of relaxation of restrictions on COVID-19 dynamics and control, we developed a transmission dynamic model and calibrated it to US state-level COVID-19 cases and deaths. We used this model to evaluate the impact of social distancing, testing and contact tracing on the COVID-19 epidemic in each state. As of 22July 2020, we found that only three states were on track to curtail their epidemic curve. Thirty-nine states and the District of Columbia may have to double their testing and/or tracing rates and/or rolling back reopening by 25%, while eight states require an even greater measure of combined testing, tracing and distancing. Increased testing and contact-tracing capacity is paramount for mitigating the recent large-scale increases in US cases and deaths.

published proceedings

  • Nat Hum Behav

altmetric score

  • 241.236

author list (cited authors)

  • Chiu, W. A., Fischer, R., & Ndeffo-Mbah, M. L.

citation count

  • 41

complete list of authors

  • Chiu, Weihsueh A||Fischer, Rebecca||Ndeffo-Mbah, Martial L

publication date

  • October 2020