Information on COVID-19 and Pandemics

The fast-moving impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak pose significant issues for the health and safety of people, for critical supply chains, and have numerous other societal and economic implications.

Many INFORMS members have long worked in areas related to pandemics, supply chain, and other areas where operations research and analytics can provide valuable information for policymakers and other decision makers. They have been quoted in mainstream media articles, appeared as guests on podcasts, and submitted peer-reviewed research, among other things. Their expertise is providing awareness about the critical issues related to the global supply chain, healthcare, and transportation security. These thought leaders are providing risk mitigation insights based on similar circumstances and allowing for some lead time ahead of other potential public health emergencies and impacts to the global economy.

Operations research and analytics professionals are providing valuable knowledge for policymakers and business leaders responding to the impacts of the coronavirus outbreak. If your organization would like additional information, or to be connected with an INFORMS member-expert, please contact Jeff Cohen, Director of Public Affairs.

A Message from INFORMS President

“Historically, the INFORMS community has developed and used O.R. and analytics methods to ‘save lives, save money, and solve problems,’ and help make the world a better place. As the entire world is battling COVID-19, there is probably no better time to put our expertise and capabilities to good use! Many INFORMS members have worked on issues related to infectious diseases, healthcare, transportation, supply chains, finance, etc., and all of these sectors would benefit from the applications of O.R. and analytics as we face high levels of uncertainty and the potential for cascading impact across multiple sectors locally and globally. INFORMS members are uniquely positioned to generate insights to support the decisions of policymakers, businesses and communities, ranging from the procurement and allocation of limited supplies of critical goods to managing employee absence to evaluating the effectiveness of intervention strategies (such as quarantining or canceling public gatherings and travel) to assessing the potential impact of the disease on supply chains.” – Pinar Keskinocak, 2020 INFORMS President

Some of those resources are available in the topic pages and highlighted in the weekly email update, any INFORMS journal article in this collection has been made free access for the public. These resources provide information about the impact of the coronavirus on the global supply chain, on healthcare and healthcare systems responding to infection control measures, and how travel bans and changes to public transit inform transportation security policy.