This modeling study of Utah found that handing the pandemic like South Korea versus Italy had a 3-month variation in pandemic length, a 1.5-fold difference in the peak number of daily infections, and a 3-fold difference in the total cumulative cases. South Korea’s plan worked much better.
Researchers modeled the COVID-19 outbreak in Utah by applying empirical data from South Korea and Italy, two countries that implemented very different public health actions. They aligned the start of the pandemic in Utah with that in each other country, generating a short-run forecast based on daily rates of spread, and a long-run forecast based on a log-logistic model with four parameters.
Using the South Korea model, the epidemic peaked at 169 cases/day and resolved by the end of May. Using the Italy model, new cases would exceed 200/day by mid-April, with the potential for 250 new cases a day at the epidemic peak, continuing through the end of August.