A blue street sign that reads "Left Lane Covid-19 Testing Only" near the Birmingham downtown COVID-19 testing site.

During this global public health crisis, the UAB School of Public Health (SOPH) is striving to continue its mission: to make positive and lasting change in the public’s health. Faculty have participated in media interviews answering critical questions around coronavirus related to their areas of expertise. Investigators are exploring scientific aspects of the pandemic and have formed research working groups to increase efficiency and interdisciplinary collaboration. Others are working on important issues in the community, such as locally relevant disease modeling, guidance and training, and community support. We invite you to read more about what the UAB School of Public Health has been doing during the COVID-19 outbreak here.

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Mapping COVID-19 in Alabama

SOPH faculty have created a map of the COVID-19 outbreak in Alabama. The total number and rate of cases in each county of Alabama are shown. You can select one of four information categories to display:

  1. Total number of cases
  2. Total number of deaths
  3. Rate of cases (per 10,000)
  4. Rate of deaths (per 10,000)

If you hover your mouse over a specific county, you will see a pop-up text box showing descriptive statistics for the county.

If you click on a specific county, you will be shown a line graph. The line graph you see will depend on which of the four options you have selected. For example, if you select total number of cases (option 1 above), you will see a line graph showing the total number of cases in the given county over time, starting on the day that the first case was diagnosed in the given county.

Visit the Map

Forecasting the Epidemic

SOPH faculty are leading the development of locally relevant disease modeling.

Dr. Suzanne Judd developed a Jefferson County COVID-19 community-based disease outbreak model and provided it to the JCDH.

View the COVID-19 Alabama State Estimate Outbreak Model

Dr. Jerry McGwin has developed a model for the UAB Health System to predict the trajectory and characteristics of COVID-19 patients to aid in UAB's personnel and resource management and planning. In addition, he has developed a model to predict the trajectory and characteristics of COVID-19 patients admitted to hospitals in Jefferson County and in the state of Alabama to aid in resource management and planning. This work has been done in collaboration with Drs. Emily Levitan and Russell Griffin. Drs. McGwin and Griffin are also in charge of COVID-19 analytics for the UAB Health System. The forecast is subject to change as the model is updated with new data. The models are based on the observed trajectory to date as well as the trajectories in other parts of the world. As scientifically based as these models are, they can be equally unpredictable for the long term. However, updating them every day will allow us to have the best estimate based on what we know today.

View the COVID-19 Forecast Models

Drs. Andrew Rucks and W. Jack Duncan are creating graphs that plot the daily path of COVID-19 in Alabama and Jefferson County (home of UAB) from mid-March to the present. The graphs show the total number of cases, deaths, and hospitalizations on any given date. The data are extracted daily at approximately 4:15 p.m. CDT from the ADPH Dashboard.

View the Alabama and Jefferson County Daily COVID-19 Path

SOPH in the Media

UAB Reporter

Epidemiologists are having a moment. What does it take to become one?
SOPH Expert: Emily Levitan

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Atlanta Journal Constitution (AJC)

As states ease restrictions, Coronavirus deaths drop in U.S.
SOPH Expert: Bertha Hidalgo

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UAB News

The state has reopened — what does that mean for me?
SOPH Expert: Suzanne Judd

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COVID, climate and minorities
SOPH Experts: James McClintock & Paul C. Erwin

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We’re all in this together: Health researcher and teen son use off time to study mask usage
SOPH Expert: David Becker

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JPHMP Direct

We Can Choose Not to Fail
SOPH Expert: Paul C. Erwin

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UAB News

As Coronavirus Dashboards Enthrall Millions, a Mapping Guru Reflects on the Power of Visualization
SOPH Expert: Ariann Nassel

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Birmingham Medical News

Public Health in the COVID-19 Fight
SOPH Expert: Ryan Irvin

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Global Television Canada

The April 6 edition of Global National with Dawna Friesen
SOPH Expert: Suzanne Judd

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Yahoo Finance

U.S. coronavirus cases leap past 250k
SOPH Expert: Suzanne Judd

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Yes, you can spread coronavirus even if you never show symptoms
SOPH Experts: Bertha Hidalgo & Suzanne Judd

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Can I get COVID from takeout food? The mail? UAB researcher answers your coronavirus questions
SOPH Expert: Suzanne Judd

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9 Questions You Probably Have About Social Distancing, Answered by Experts
SOPH Expert: Bertha Hidalgo

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Yahoo Finance

21% test poositive for coronavirus antibodies in NYC
SOPH Expert: Suzanne Judd

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What has the SOPH been doing during the COVID-19 outbreak?

In the Community

""SOPH faculty are serving as a sounding board/think tank for the Jefferson County Department of Health: 

SOPH Faculty are providing evidence-based decision making and guidance regarding orders for isolation, quarantine, sheltering in place, testing, etc. These efforts include Dean Paul Erwin and Drs. Suzanne Judd, Lisa McCormick, and Kevin Fontaine. Students will be assisting JCDH in doing COVID-19 contact tracing and disease reporting.

""SOPH faculty are leading the development of locally relevant disease modeling:

Dr. Pia Sen and colleagues used socio-demographic-economic data at the Census Tract level as well as public insurance data to rank all Alabama Census Tracts based on estimated COVID-19 risk, illustrating risk distribution across the state, for the four most populous Alabama counties, and for the city of Greater Birmingham. Estimates of the population at-risk in each county and the number of people who may require hospitalization under different hypothesized infection rates were computed and compared to the number of hospital beds available in each county. Results were shared with Jefferson County Department of Health and Alabama Medicaid.

""We are partnering with agencies to provide online guidance and training:

We have led in partnering with the Birmingham Housing Authority (BHA), providing a two-hour webinar on communicating about COVID-19 to BHA residents (Drs. Shauntice Allen and Faith Fletcher, with additional facilitation by Maria White and Chris Simma). Additional webinars — broadcast/streamed live through Facebook – are being planned for other vulnerable populations.

Dr. Lisa McCormick and Elena Kidd, MPH, developed a training module in partnership with JCDH, Jefferson County Emergency Management Agency, and the Alabama Fire College. Narrated by Meena Nabavi, MPH, it targets those volunteering to keep critical infrastructure in place, including those volunteering in homeless shelters and for meal service providers that are engaging in emergency feeding operations across our community. This training, “COVID-19 Volunteer Safety Training,” is accessible online through Alabama Fire College Online Courses. Anyone can access the training, but you must first create an account. You cannot view this course as a guest.

""We are pursuing scientific investigation:

Dr. Paul Muntner and the Office of Research have formed working groups to brainstorm lines of COVID-19 scientific inquiry. Groups were tasked with identifying public health research needs and assembling teams and strategies to meet those needs. Working groups were organized according to the Social-Ecological Model in order to address pressing public health research questions across the spectrum: from the genetics and genomics of the virus and psychological responses to ‘stay at home’ messaging to the analysis of patterns in Twitter data related to COVID-19. The UAB Institutional Review Board for Human Use (IRB) is reviewing and approving early studies and at least two research proposals have been submitted for extramural funding. All SOPH faculty, staff, and students are invited to join the weekly COVID-19 Virtual Journal Club to discuss seminal COVID-19 findings and stay abreast of the latest scientific developments.

See a list of SOPH COVID-19 academic publications

Hear the SOPH Panel Discussion on COVID-19 Research

In the School

""Dean Erwin has been providing a weekly video and e-mail for all SOPH faculty, staff, and students, summarizing new information on the outbreak, communications from the Provost’s and President’s offices, UAB policies, etc. This video is a synopsis of the COVID-19 Round Table meeting of leadership in the SOPH, which takes place every Friday at 11:00 a.m.

""SOPH has held two Town Hall gatherings for our students via Zoom. The first focused on tips for successfully transitioning to online learning. The second was an open forum to hear students’ perceptions of communication and support from the school. At both Town Halls students have provided valuable feedback and innovative ideas for how we can support them during this time. In particular, students have pushed us to increase visibility of the positive things they are doing during the pandemic and to make a special effort to celebrate graduating students.

""Weeks before the transition to online learning, we began preparing faculty with a series of frequency asked questions (FAQs) and tips on best practices in online education. Additional expert consultants have been added to the Instructional Design Group to support faculty, and eLearning presented a tailored webinar on best practices to more than 20 of our faculty recently. Many faculty have incorporated new pedagogical approaches in their courses and have redesigned assignments to focus on connections between the COVID-19 pandemic and their course content.

""The School’s Emergency Management Team met daily for one week, every other day the next week, and now meets weekly. Chaired by Paul Wolf, it reviews communications received and sent, new/changing policies, activities with JCDH and ADPH, updates/changes to our Continuity of Operations Plan, and other matters related to COVID-19.


COVID-19's Impact on Women: A Conversation with Medical and Public Health Experts
April 27, 2020

Panelists include:

  • Zoe Julian, M.D., MPH, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, UAB School of Medicine
  • Tamera Coyne-Beasley, M.D., MPH, Division Director of Adolescent Medicine, UAB School of Medicine

Moderated by Shauntice Allen, PhD, and Faith E. Fletcher, PhD.

COVID-19's Impact on the Black Community: A Conversation with Health Experts and Faith Leaders
April 6, 2020

Panelists include:

  • Rev. Dr. Christopher Hamlin, Tabernacle Baptist Church, UAB 1917 Clinic
  • Dr. Thomas Beavers, New Rising Star Missionary Baptist Church
  • Dontrelle Young-Foster, Housing Authority of the Birmingham District
  • Dr. Selwyn M. Vickers, Dean of the UAB School of Medicine

Moderated by Shauntice Allen, PhD, and Faith E. Fletcher, PhD.

SOPH Coronavirus Panel Discussion with Experts from JCDH and UAB
February 7, 2020

Wesley G. Willeford, Medical Director of Disease Control at the Jefferson County Department of Health and an infectious disease physician, provides an update on the 2019 Coronavirus while Jianming "James" Tang, Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology, UAB Schools of Medicine and Public Health, presents Racing Against Time to Save Health Workers in the 2019-nCoV Front Lines.

Articles and Manuscripts