Instagram co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger have reunited to launch Rt.Live, a website that tracks the spread of COVID-19 across the U.S.
We haven’t heard much from Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger for a while – at lease since they abruptly exited Instagram in September 2018. But now, the co-founders of Instagram have reappeared and reunited to launch Rt.Live, a new website that tracks the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rt.Live shows how fast the virus is spreading inside the U.S. and could be of great help when deciding to reopen states on a case per case basis.
The website is named after (Rt), the metric used to track the spread of the virus. (Rt) measures “the effective reproduction rate of the virus calculated for each locale. It lets us estimate how many secondary infections are likely to occur from a single infection in a specific area. Values over 1.0 mean we should expect more cases in that area, values under 1.0 mean we should expect fewer.”
(R0), or reproduction rate, is the accepted measure of how many people an infected person is likely to infect. It is the key metric used by most countries to determine whether the epidemic will continue to spread or not.
In simple words, when the reproduction rate foes under 1, it means an epidemic is receding.
Rt.Live, however, tracks the effective reproduction rate, or (Rt), which is an estimation of whether the spread of the virus is accelerating. It estimates how many secondary infections are likely to occur from a single infection in a specific area. Values over 1.0 mean we should expect more cases in that area, values under 1.0 mean we should expect fewer.
At the time of writing, and as per the above graph, the tracker shows 21 states where the situation is still developing. But overall, the situation is much more positive than it was just three weeks ago:
You can also sign up for updates for your specific region using your ZIP code on the website.
“As states decide whether and how to open back up, they’ll have to manage their infection rate carefully, and we hope dashboards like rt.live will be helpful in doing so” Krieger explains.
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