ICTR COVID Activities


TexasCeal Project


The novel coronavirus, COVID-19, has affected millions of people living in the United States. To support minority communities and areas disproportionally affected by the novel coronavirus, the National Institutes of Health announced it is awarding $12 million to 11 states through a NIH Community Engagement Alliance (CEAL) Against COVID-19 Disparities program. 

The goal of the community-engagement research program is to help these groups affected by the pandemic to rapidly respond to COVID-19 and alleviate health inequities. The states include Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas. Read about the TexasCEAL team. View article.

Harris County is among high-priority regions that will receive this special focus. The project connects communities with accurate public health information and informs communities about clinical research and vaccine trials. 

Baylor College of Medicine is coordinating Houston sites with Dr. Chris Amos as the local PI.

The team also includes:

  • Bettina Beech (PI of subcontract, UH)
  • Lorna McNeill (PI of subcontract, UTMDACC)
  • Jasmine Opounju (PI of subcontract, CANDO Houston)
  • Venus Gines (venusgines, PI of subcontract, dia de al Mujer, Houston and Tarrant County)

Other parts of Texas include:

  • Robert Clark – UT HSC – San Antonio
  • Luis Torres-Hostos – UT Rio Grande Valley
  • Jasmin Tirp – UT Southwestern

COVID-19 Hospital Impact Model for Epidemics


CHIME, or COVID-19 Hospital Impact Model for Epidemics, is a tool that originates from the Predictive Healthcare team at Penn Medicine. For questions on how to use this tool see the User docs. Code can be found on Github

View daily updates:

CHIME uses the SIR model, which computes the theoretical number of people infected with a contagious illness in a closed population over time. The model consists of individuals who are either (S)usceptible, (I)nfected, or (R)ecovered. The epidemic proceeds via a growth and decline process. This is the core model of infectious disease spread and has been in use in epidemiology for many years.

CHIME has up-to-date projections and estimates the number of patients that will need hospitalization, ICU beds, and mechanical ventilation.