In summer 2020, Harvard’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics and the Brown School of Public Health convened a network of research, policy and public health experts to establish a Key Metrics for Suppression framework to help cut through the noise and sometimes conflicting advice. The CDC had not published community levels and guidance, and the nation needed an understanding of how to interpret and act on the data that was available about how the pandemic was spreading across the U.S.
The framework brought clarity to metrics that helped communities determine the severity of the outbreak they were responding to. It delivered broad guidance on the intensity of control efforts needed based on these COVID risk levels.
The dashboard accompanying the framework has become a key source of daily information for millions, as it continues to update daily case rates and risk levels based on the original metrics. It remains an important resource for many. The policy recommendations laid out in the framework, however, no longer apply as the pandemic has evolved, new variants have emerged, and vaccines and treatments are now available. For transparency, we are keeping an archived record of these recommendations available on this website.