JAMIA Open. 2022 Jun 25;5(3):ooac056. doi: 10.1093/jamiaopen/ooac056. eCollection 2022 Oct.
OBJECTIVE: Predicting daily trends in the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) case number is important to support individual decisions in taking preventative measures. This study aims to use COVID-19 case number history, demographic characteristics, and social distancing policies both independently/interdependently to predict the daily trend in the rise or fall of county-level cases.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We extracted 2093 features (5 from the US COVID-19 case number history, 1824 from the demographic characteristics independently/interdependently, and 264 from the social distancing policies independently/interdependently) for 3142 US counties. Using the top selected 200 features, we built 4 machine learning models: Logistic Regression, Naïve Bayes, Multi-Layer Perceptron, and Random Forest, along with 4 Ensemble methods: Average, Product, Minimum, and Maximum, and compared their performances.
RESULTS: The Ensemble Average method had the highest area-under the receiver operator characteristic curve (AUC) of 0.692. The top ranked features were all interdependent features.
CONCLUSION: The findings of this study suggest the predictive power of diverse features, especially when combined, in predicting county-level trends of COVID-19 cases and can be helpful to individuals in making their daily decisions. Our results may guide future studies to consider more features interdependently from conventionally distinct data sources in county-level predictive models. Our code is available at: https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.6332944.