Facebook uses AI to forecast spread of COVID-19 in Roanoke and Lynchburg


RICHMOND, Va. (WFXR) — Facebook announced they are now also using AI to forecast the spread of coronavirus across the entire United States, including in Roanoke and Lynchburg.

In Virginia, the map shows Roanoke County is projected to have 2,641 cumulative cases of COVID-19 by November 30th, which represents an increase of 518 cases since November 17th, and a 24 percent increase.

Lynchburg is projected to have 2,796 cumulative cases of COVID-19 by November 30th, which represents an increase of 438 cases since November 17th, and a percentage increase of 19 percent.

Unlike existing insights which focus on state-level predictions or death counts, this forecast uses anonymized Facebook data to deliver county-level results, which are critical for local health officials to make critical public health decisions.

These resultswill be published publicly for download on the Humanitarian Data Exchange.

Facebook hopes these new forecasts help public health experts and local authorities understand where prevention efforts are working and which areas are expected to be hotspots. 

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