Chelsea Policy Simulator

Simulating how policy decisions play out in our communities

Policy plays a central role in complex systems. Even seemingly routine policy decisions ripple through a community’s healthcare, transportation, and environmental networks – and directly affect much more. Tracking the impact that different policies have can be an elusive task. Since 2020, our team has been experimenting with an exciting simulator that can measure and evaluate the link between high-level policy decisions and real-world outcomes in the realm of COVID-19.

  • Using a policy simulator, our team compared COVID-19 outcomes in communities with and without mask mandates, and found that mask mandates led to better outcomes in terms of case numbers, hospitalizations, and deaths.
  • We are currently using our simulator to better understand COVID-19 outcome discrepancies across racial, gender, income, and age demographic groups.
  • We are also exploring how these discrepancies relate to mobility patterns and policies, including limited air travel and work-from-home mandates for non-essential workers.

Potential Use Cases

  • Comparing the outcomes of policy interventions across members of different demographic groups
  • Teaching decision-makers and the general public about the effectiveness of different policy measures, with the goal that these learnings can be applied to future infectious disease outbreaks

Get Involved

  • If you’re curious to see how different policy decisions surrounding infectious disease affect your town, state, or community, please reach out to Daniel.

Thank you to Regina LaRoque.


Association between COVID-19 outcomes and mask mandates, adherence, and attitudes

Chelsea Policy Simulator Article