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Graduate Defense: Anna Barefield

April 10 @ 10:30 am - 11:30 am MDT

Thesis Defense

Thesis Information

Title: Association of Lockdown Policies with COVID-19 Early Case Growth Rates in the United States

Program: Master of Science in Mathematics

Advisor: Dr. Juna Goo, Electrical and Mathematics

Committee Members: Dr. Kyungduk Ko, Mathematics; and Dr. Joe Champion, Mathematics


The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted essentially the entire globe, infecting over 755 million people worldwide and resulting in over 6.8 million deaths to date. Different countries have had varying levels of success in managing the spread of the pandemic, and the success or lack thereof could be explained by the impact of government intervention, such as lockdown policies, mask mandates, and social distancing advisories. The United States has responded particularly poorly to the early pandemic outbreak as compared to other similar countries, due to its lack of coordinated planning to implement effective policies, with large variations in action taken by each state. Therefore, it is of interest to understand how varying levels of policy implementation are related to early COVID-19 outcomes. In this study, we consider whether the state’s emergency declaration was before the national level and the number of other lockdown policies that are in effect on a given day. We also disaggregate the effect of other lockdown policies into between-state and within-state effects. Then we use linear mixed effects model to examine the association between early COVID-19 growth rates and lockdown policies during the initial lockdown period after accounting for statewide demographic variables. Due to multicollinearity issues between demographic variables, we present two final models that account for these variables separately.–