VDH, Metaculus launch the ‘Keep Virginia Safe Forecasting Tournament’

Coronavirus
COVID OUTLOOK

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RICHMOND, Va. (WFXR) — The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) announced Thursday the launch of the Keep Virginia Safe Forecasting Tournament, which will be hosted by Metaculus as a new Forecasting Cause initiative focused on the COVID-19 pandemic amid the global distribution of more than a dozen vaccines.

“Metaculus is an organization that improves decision making by aggregating quantitative predictions of future events made by groups of people,” the VDH said in a statement on Thursday, April 29. “Since March 2020, Metaculus has been providing forecasting and modeling resources to public health professionals and public policy experts, helping them navigate critical decisions about COVID-19 interventions in communities around the world.”

The Keep Virginia Safe Forecasting Tournament will reportedly try to directly address key scientific and policy questions by gathering knowledge from numerous experts and forecasters.

According to the VDH, the tournament will unfold across three rounds, with a mix of calibration, long-term, and fortified essay questions for the following topics:

  • Epidemiologic modeling and trajectory
  • The path to population immunity
  • The emergence and impact of COVID-19 variants of concern
  • Vaccine roll-out timelines
  • Vaccine hesitancy
  • Effective mitigation of community transmission
  • Testing and contact tracing
  • The return to pre-pandemic behaviors

Health officials say the first round opens on Thursday.

If would like to boost forecasts on these topics and the future of the pandemic in the Commonwealth, the VDH shared a few ways you can participate:

  • Join the Keep Virginia Safe Forecasting Tournament and make forecasts. The starting prize pool for accurate forecasts is $1,000.
  • Share your expertise, think up forecasting questions, and keep the community in the loop with the latest research in the COVID-19 Discussion Forum.
  • Reach out to researchers and experts to help generate new shared knowledge on the Metaculus platform.

To learn more about the Keep Virginia Safe Forecasting Tournament and Metaculus’ broader pandemic forecasting efforts, follow this link.

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