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Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - The Mayo Clinic has added a key feature to its Coronavirus Map.

The pandemic tracking tool is available through the Mayo Clinic COVID-19 Resource Center website and now includes predictive modeling that forecasts where hotspots could develop. A news release says it offers the prediction for up to 14 days into the future and is based on modeling used by the Mayo Clinic to anticipate and plan for increased COVID-19 activity at its locations and to assist public health agencies. Unlike the forecasting tool offered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the new Mayo Clinic forecasting feature is updated daily.

"Mayo Clinic has made strategic investments in its digital and analytic capabilities, and this has allowed us to make precise predictions about COVID-19 cases nationwide in order to provide safe and effective care for all our patients," says Sean Dowdy, M.D., Mayo Clinic’s Midwest Quality chair. "We are now making our predictive forecasts public to raise awareness of the trends for COVID infection in specific areas nationwide."

Curtis Storlie is the Mayo Clinic Data Scientist who led the development of the forecast model. He says it has been "a linchpin" of the Mayo Clinic's response to the pandemic. Storlie says it has proved to be "remarkably accurate" in predicting where resources needed to be allocated by forecasting the timing and extent of the surges that affected Mayo Clinic sites.

The forecasting feature, along with detailed information about current COVID-19 activity and trends, is available for each of the lower 48 states, the District of Columbia, and the entire continental United States. The data on current activity and trends is available on the map tracking tool for Hawaii, Alaska, and U.S. territories.

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Sure, they're lies...but they also point to a fundamentally positive attitude about our lives in the greatest state in the nation (that just happens to have air that'll hurt your face).

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