SAND2021-0565 O PRIME is a modeling framework designed for the real-time characterization and forecasting of partially observed epidemics. The method is designed to help guide medical resource allocation in the early epoch of the outbreak. Characterization is the estimation of infection spread parameters using daily counts of symptomatic patients. The estimation problem is posed as one of Bayesian inference and solved using a Markov Chain Monte Carlo technique. The framework can accommodate multiple epidemic waves and can help identify different disease dynamics at the regional, state, and country levels. Examples are provided using publicly available COVID-19 data. Sandia National Laboratories is a multimission laboratory managed and operated by National Technology & Engineering Solutions of Sandia, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Honeywell International Inc., for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration under contract DE-NA0003525.