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Pole Star Supports USF Study Exploring Impact of Maritime Transportation on COVID-19 Transmission

Pole Star will be providing additional vessel tracking data to a team from the University of South Florida who will be looking at the role of maritime transportation in the spread of COVID-19.

A team of scientists will shine a light on the black box thanks to a new grant from USF’s COVID-19 Rapid Response program. The project, called “Contact Tracing of Ships and Seaports in Florida,” is projected to last six months and is one of 14 projects funded in USF’s second round of its rapid response program.

The project will involve a more extensive port-call history of the ships that entered Florida seaports in the first half of 2020. The team will use the ship tracking data – including number and type of ship, time in port, and estimated number of crew and passengers – to build computer models that help to quantify how connected Florida’s ports are with the global network of ports. They will combine that information with existing SARS-CoV-2 disease transmission models to help calculate the probability of a single infected individual from any one given port infecting others at subsequent port stops.

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