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Facility Location Optimization Model for COVID-19 Resources

Klise, Katherine A.; Bynum, Michael L.

In response to anticipated resource shortfalls related to the treatment and testing of COVID-19, many communities are planning to build additional facilities to increase capacity. These facilities include field hospitals, testing centers, mobile manufacturing units, and distribution centers. In many cases, these facilities are intended to be temporary and are designed to meet an immediate need. When deciding where to place new facilities many factors need to be considered, including the feasibility of potential locations, existing resource availability, anticipated demand, and accessibility between patients and the new facility. In this project, a facility location optimization model was developed to integrate these key pieces of information to help decision makers identify the best place, or places, to build a facility to meet anticipated resource demands. The facility location optimization model uses the location of existing resources and the anticipated resource demand at each location to minimize the distance a patient must travel to get to the resource they need. The optimization formulation is presented below. The model was designed to operate at the county scale, where patients are grouped per county. This assumption can be modified to integrate other scales or include individual patients.