Research on Public Health Pandemic Responses and Strategies
Marc Hetherington, Dawson Distinguished Professor in the Department of Political Science, Tim Ryan, Associate Professor of Political Science, and Graeme Robertson, Professor of Political Science, are currently working with the Gillings School of Global Public Health, Hussman School of Journalism and Media, School of Medicine, and NC Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to support efforts to achieve broad public compliance with voluntary restrictions on personal actions. The work seeks to identify characteristics of citizens who are resistant to compliance behaviors like social distancing and mask-wearing, the leaders and professions whom they admire and esteem, and their media consumption habits. The goal of the work is to develop effective communication strategies for HHS to encourage compliance and protect the health of those reluctant to heed calls for measures such as social distancing.
Keywords: social distancing, public health compliance
Researchers: Tim Ryan, Marc Hetherington, Graeme Robertson
Dana Rice, Assistant Professor in the Public Health Leadership Program, is examining the response to the COVID-19 pandemic on people detained in rural and urban North Carolina prisons.
Keywords: public policy
Researchers: Dana Rice
Elizabeth Olson, Professor in the Department of Geography, is researching the impact social distancing has on youths with responsibility for providing care, supervision and support to ill or disabled family members.
Keywords: social distancing, family care-giving
Researchers: Elizabeth Olson
Carissa Byrne Hessick, Ransdell Distinguished Professor at the UNC School of Law, is researching the enforcement of criminal laws in response to the coronavirus outbreak and examining new Department of Justice coronavirus-related law enforcement priorities.
Keywords: criminal law, crime
Researchers: Carissa Byrne Hessick
Donald T. Hornstein, Brooks Professor of Law at the UNC School of Law, is examining and advising on the regulatory law of emergency, quarantine and vaccination in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as issues of insurance coverage and regulation related to the coronavirus.
Keywords: insurance, government emergency powers
Researchers: Donald T. Hornstein
Leigh Osofsky, Professor of Law at the UNC School of Law, is researching the challenge posed by the inability of the free market to protect frontline workers during a pandemic and the legal need for government subsidies.
Keywords: worker pay, subsidies
Researchers: Leigh Osofsky
Richard Saver, Allen Distinguished Professor at the UNC School of Law and a Professor in the Department of Social Medicine, is currently researching the tension between the "elusive" legal duties community physicians owe to safeguard public health and the duties they owe to their individual patients, which can lead to evading compliance with public health laws or ignoring the public health considerations of treatment decisions. Prof. Saver’s scholarship also focuses on laws governing isolation, quarantine, compelled medical treatment, infectious disease reporting, vaccination, governmental health communication campaigns, and related public health activities.
Keywords: public health law, physician duty, disease reporting
Researchers: Richard Saver
Rick Su, Professor of Law at the UNC School of Law, is evaluating state and local responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, including social distancing and exclusion orders and state-federal coordination in disaster relief.
Keywords: state government, social distancing, local government, federalism
Researchers: Rick Su
Deborah M. Weissman, Ivey Distinguished Professor at the UNC School of Law and a member of NC’s Commission on Domestic Violence, is engaged in governmental efforts in the US and abroad to address domestic violence intervention in the context of the global pandemic. These include development of best practices related to crisis management services and their remote delivery through virtual platforms.
Keywords: domestic violence, crisis management
Researchers: Deborah M. Weissman
Klara Peter, Associate Professor in the Department of Economics, is examing the role of government trust in mitigating the spread of COVID-19 in European countries. Her project will take place over the summer using data from the European Social Survey linked to regional measures of the spread of the virus. She is also using U.S. county-level data to understand how initial conditions and policies influence spread of the virus and its mortality outcomes at various pandemic stages, and she is examining the degree to which mitigation strategies in various countries affect individual risk perceptions and economic and social behaviors.
Keywords: health disparities, disease burden
Researchers: Klara Peter
Paul Delamater, Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography, is working with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the University of Michigan to create a public-facing map/website of COVID-19 risk. Many residents of Michigan are unaware of their localized risk and have been failing to heed stay home orders. The research team seeks to
show residents their risk through a spatial/epidemiological model that can provide highly local risk estimates, while at the same time protecting the privacy of persons who have contracted COVID-19. Dr. Delamater is developing the spatial mapping units and will help develop the algorithm to estimate risk. He is also assisting a group working to predict hospital beds and ICU beds needed in Michigan in upcoming weeks.
Keywords: social distancing, public awareness, predictive modeling
Researchers: Paul Delamater
Keely Muscatell, Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, is exploring people’s understanding of their bodily states and how that contributes to their emotional states during a pandemic when attention to bodily cues is heightened. Her work has a particular focus on individuals of lower socioeconomic background. Her team is also exploring how mental health practitioners and public health communicators can design effective messages to encourage social distancing and other practices to control the spread of COVID-19.
Keywords: social distancing
Researchers: Keely Muscatell
Kia Caldwell, Professor in the Department of African, African American and Diaspora Studies, is examining how the healthcare systems of the United States and Brazil have responded to the pandemic and the challenges they face offering robust healthcare to African-American and Afro-Brazilian communities. This work includes a focus on the Affordable Care Act and Brazil’s universal healthcare system (SUS). Dr. Caldwell is also studying how racial/ethnic health disparities and social determinants of health in US and Brazilian communities affect the pandemic’s impact in each country.
Keywords: health disparities, disease burden
Researchers: Kia Caldwell
Lydia Boyd, Associate Professor in the Department of African, African American and Diaspora Studies, is examining how deep experience gained by African public health workers and officials managing high-profile viral outbreaks of Ebola in West Africa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Uganda and localized cholera outbreaks on the continent is affecting Africa’s response to the pandemic.
Keywords: global public health
Researchers: Lydia Boyd
Eunice Sahle, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of African, African American and Diaspora Studies, is examining the effects and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on various communities in the African nations of Malawi, Kenya and South Africa. UNC Teaching Fellow Marie A. Garlock and Dr. Sahle are also studying how coal ash-affected communities in the US are adapting mutual aid networks – a constitutive part of the everyday practices of African Americans in the rural South to address COVID-19.
Keywords: environmental justice, community response
Researchers: Marie A. Garlock, Eunice Sahle
Samba Camara and Mohamed Mwamzandi, Teaching Assistant Professors in the Department of African, African American and Diaspora Studies, are using online questionnaires and other digital research methods to examine how Muslims in North Carolina’s Triangle area, in Senegal, and in Kenya have adjusted religious behavior to accommodate urgent COVID-19 public health policies without compromising their faith.
Keywords: social impact
Researchers: Samba Camara, Mohamed Mwamzandi
Georges Nzongola-Ntalaja, Professor in the Department of African, African American and Diaspora Studies, is examining the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s response to COVID-19, with emphasis on how a fragile African state with limited resources deals with a major health crisis and the lessons it offers for the future.
Keywords: social resilience, public policy
Researchers: Georges Nzongola-Ntalaja
David Pier, Associate Professor in the Department of African, African American and Diaspora Studies, is examining use of contemporary music as a tool to encourage awareness of COVID-19 and public health measures such as hand-washing, and its relationship to politics in Uganda.
Keywords: public health compliance, health communication
Researchers: David Pier
Kari North, Professor in the Department of Epidemiology, is leveraging an existing epidemiology Latino cohort to better understand how minority populations and those from disadvantaged backgrounds are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.
Keywords: health disparities
Researchers: Kari North
Mark Holmes, Professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management; Kim Powers, Associate Professor in the Department of Epidemiology; and other researches from the Gillings School of Global Public Health and the Sheps Center for Health Services Research are part of an independent, informal collaborative of data scientists, health services and policy researchers, and epidemiologists who are modeling the impact of COVID-19 on North Carolina. Their work has been used to advise state policymakers on the potential impact of various policies aimed at mitigating the virus’s impact on the state and its residents. For example, their modeling work has informed decisions on social distancing policies and provided a framework for reopening the state. Their work has been featured in multiple local, state and national media outlets.