HARC Research Analyzing Impact of COVID-19 Through Data

Posting Date: 
Tuesday, April 7, 2020

How will our region’s environment respond to societal changes brought on by global pandemic?

With the novel coronavirus pandemic, regulatory measures have been put in place by local governments throughout the Greater Houston region and across the state of Texas. As of April 3rd, 50 municipal and seven county orders exist in the greater Houston region and 37 counties total across Texas have put similar stay-at-home policies in place.

In addition to slowing the rate of infection, reducing the burden on medical facilities, and saving lives, these stay-at-home orders can also have far reaching effects on infrastructure systems, communities and the environment.

Scientific understanding of the virus is evolving as is the understanding of the pandemic’s short-term effects on quality of life, economic systems, infrastructure, and the environment. Lessons learned can also inform planning and adaptation efforts for future public health crises and extreme events such as natural disasters. Researchers at HARC (the Houston Advanced Research Center) are analyzing data describing regional mobility, air quality, and energy demand to determine the extent of regional and statewide changes due to COVID-19 and the resulting stay-at-home orders.

In the coming weeks HARC will work to gather and share this information broadly.