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University of Maryland, Carnegie Mellon and Facebook partner up to track coronavirus spread

The University of Maryland has partnered up with Carnegie Mellon University and Facebook to analyze more than 30 million surveys in an attempt to track coronavirus outbreaks.

In a news release, the University of Maryland wrote that the group issued the International COVID-19 Symptom Survey through Facebook earlier this year, “which asks individuals about their COVID-19 behaviors and resources, such as testing availability, mask usage, and symptoms.”

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Testing technician Olivia Adams administers a COVID-19 test to Jill Yesko at a walk-up testing clinic run by the University of Maryland Medical System on Thursday morning in the 4500 block of Reisterstown Road.
Testing technician Olivia Adams administers a COVID-19 test to Jill Yesko at a walk-up testing clinic run by the University of Maryland Medical System on Thursday morning in the 4500 block of Reisterstown Road. (Jerry Jackson/Baltimore Sun)

The university wrote that more than 30 million users from more than 200 countries have completed the survey and that global and national data visualization tools are available online for certain sets of data.

Teams with the University of Maryland Social Data Science Center and the Carnegie Mellon University Delphi Research Group are analyzing the data to understand mask usage trends and its correlation to the rates of COVID-19 cases in certain regions.

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“The insights produced through this partnership will aid researchers, health organizations, and governments in responding to the COVID-19 outbreak, slowing the spread, and beginning to plan for recovery,” the university wrote.

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