Metaculus and VDH Launch the Keep Virginia Safe Forecasting Tournament Reputation-Based Community Forecasting on the Trajectory of COVID-19 Cases, Vaccines, and Interventions to Support the Development of Science-Informed Policy

RICHMOND, VA — This year, the World Health Organization’s World Immunization Week holds special significance. Over a dozen new COVID-19 vaccines are being widely distributed in communities around the world. After more than a year of challenges, these vaccines bring hope that the global pandemic may soon come to an end.

At this crucial time in public health policy, the Virginia Department of Health is delighted to partner with Metaculus to launch the Keep Virginia Safe Forecasting Tournament.  Metaculus will host this tournament as a new Forecasting Cause initiative focused on the pandemic.

Metaculus is an organization that improves decision making by aggregating quantitative predictions of future events made by groups of people. Since March 2020, Metaculus has been providing forecasting and modeling resources to public health professionals and public policy experts, helping them navigate critical decisions about COVID-19 interventions in communities around the world.

The Keep Virginia Safe Forecasting Tournament will attempt to directly address key scientific and policy questions by aggregating knowledge from many experts and forecasters.

The tournament will unfold across three rounds, with a mix of calibration, long-term, and fortified essay questions in the following topics:

  • Epidemiologic modeling and trajectory
  • The path to population immunity
  • The emergence and impact of COVID-19 variants of concern
  • Vaccine roll-out timelines
  • Vaccine hesitancy
  • Effective mitigation of community transmission
  • Testing and contact tracing
  • The return to pre-pandemic behaviors

Round 1 is opening today. If you’d like to boost forecasts on these topics and the future of COVID-19 in Virginia, you can participate in a number of valuable ways:

  • Join the Keep Virginia Safe Forecasting Tournament and make forecasts. The starting prize pool for accurate forecasts is $1,000.
  • Share your expertise, brainstorm forecasting questions, and update the community with the latest research in the COVID-19 Discussion Forum.
  • Reach out to researchers and experts to enlist their help, furthering this cause by generating new shared knowledge on the Metaculus platform.

We welcome you to join the community, and learn more about the Keep Virginia Safe Forecasting Tournament, and Metaculus’s broader pandemic forecasting efforts.