Intermountain COVID-19 Impact Consortium
The Intermountain COVID-19 Impact Consortium (icic) is a consortium of five research organizations west of the Hudson Valley region:
- Bassett Research Institute
- Center for Rural Vitality, SUNY Cobleskill
- Data Science Program, Utica College
- PLACES Institute, SUNY Oneonta
- Zogby Strategics
The consortium organizes research projects that seek to identify broad systemic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in the region. The projects collect quantitative and qualitative data relating to the pandemic impact that can identify impacts and gaps across the region, including social, economic, and medical systems. A primary goal is to understand the pandemic as it affects the totality of the regional population, tying together disparate sources of information in order to provide a “big picture” of how the event unfolded.
The region is home to 672,054 people, nearly half of whom live in the Utica-Rome metropolitan area. Utica-Rome is slightly larger than the median population for metro areas in the United States and so is analytically average. By focusing on this metropolitan area and its adjacent rural hinterland, the research teams can study urban-rural differences in pandemic impact. As a fairly typical region, insights developed here can be replicated and applied in other regions across the United States. While the benefits can be generalized to other counties and states, there will be benefits for the local counties as well, including recommendations about unforeseen issues (e.g., communicating with the Amish population), updates on trends in the region, and a statistical model designed to understand the specific pathways available for disease spread in the region.
There are six interconnected research teams examining varying aspects of the impact of the pandemic. These include:
1. Business Impacts (SUNY Cobleskill, SUNY Oneonta, Utica College): This team is working to collect data and analyze the impact of the pandemic on businesses throughout the region, providing basic economic analysis.
2. Municipal Governmental Impacts (SUNY Cobleskill, Utica College, SUNY Oneonta): This team will survey municipalities and other governmental entities about fiscal impacts, unexpected issues, and general experiences during the pandemic.
3. General Public Experiences (SUNY Oneonta, Zogby Strategics): This team is creating surveys of the general public in the region aimed at understanding people’s experiences, opinions, and beliefs about the pandemic.
4. Epidemic Behavior Surveys (Bassett Research Institute, SUNY Oneonta, Utica College): This team studies the impact of the pandemic on behavior, stress, and other health issues arising from the experience of the pandemic.
5. Regional Modeling (Bassett Research Institute, SUNY Oneonta, Utica College): This teams is researching the use of a spatial demographic model for understanding the pathways through which epidemic disease could spread through the nine-county region. The purpose of a regionally-specific model is useful for running alternative scenarios and as a web tool for educating the public.