RAND Releases Online Tool for Timing, Effects of “Re-Opening” Decisions

The RAND Corporation has released a tool, designed to help policymakers in their efforts to sensibly time “reopening” decisions for businesses, public areas, and other activity in their jurisdiction.


RAND released a new tool designed to help state decisionmakers weigh the public health and economic trade-offs of COVID-19 related responses, like continuing, scaling back, or lifting entirely a range of interventions such as stay-at-home orders or non-essential businesses closures.

The model also may have applications for county-level decision-makers, and public health professionals.

Unlike other models that look independently at economic or health effects, this tool combines information from both epidemiological and economic models to estimate the effects of five different disease-fighting portfolios, with the ability to vary the start time for new levels of interventions. The model will generate estimates for the projected change in COVID-19 infections, fatalities, hospitalizations, and gross state income.

The tool is based on evidence from past pandemics, peer-reviewed literature, and data from the current pandemic.

With this tool, you can do the following:

  • Review updated public health and economic data by state
  • Model the social and economic effects of changing intervention levels
  • Evaluate best-practice guidelines for interventions (when to start, when to end, etc.)
  • Compare other policy considerations for interventions

The model is available online here. They recommend you bookmark the page so you can easily view updates and new functionality as it is added. The model will be refreshed every two days with new data to aid recovery planning as it unfolds.

If you’d like to learn more about the tool, the RAND research team would be happy to discuss it with you.


Jayme Fuglesten
Director, Congressional Relations
The RAND Corporation

Michael Sanderson

Executive Director Maryland Association of Counties