The COVID-19 pandemic has presented governments with challenges not only in relation to bio-medical understanding, medical treatment and health facility operations, but also the management of public health, public behaviour and the economy. In the area of public health management, discrete event simulation modelling is capable of providing considerable assistance to decision-makers. In April 2020, on the basis of publicly available information about the virus and its impacts, an analysis was undertaken of the needs of public health policy-makers, and a 16-state / 40-flow model was postulated. The model was revisited in December 2020, and experiences around the world applied in order to evaluate the model's apparent usefulness. This resulted in improved appreciation of its applicability and limitations, a revised model, and plans for further evaluation and application.