COVID-19 has engulfed our lives and forced us under lockdown over the past couple of months. A lot of COVID-19 case trackers have since popped up on the Internet to help netizens keep track of the current situation. Instagram co-founders Mike Krieger and Kevin Systrom have also stepped up to the occasion and launched a COVID-19 tracker called RT.live.
The website shows live state-by-state updates on the spread of Coronavirus in the US. This isn’t your usual total positive or negative case counter tool though. Rt.live uses a data analysis algorithm to output a statistic called the ‘effective reproduction number’ of the virus. As described, this website can help users ‘estimate how many secondary infections are likely to occur from a single infection in a specific area.’
As seen in the chart above, the states with a value of over 1 depict a higher chance of the spread of the virus whereas those with a value of under 1 have started to take the necessary precautions and flatten the curve.
New York, one of the most affected states, now has 0.5 value in this chart. This means the spread of the virus there has been lowered. Similarly, if you a US resident, you can take a quick look at this website to better understand if you are at risk of contracting Coronavirus or not in your state.
In a recent chat with Bloomberg, Systrom stated, “We’re trying to take what is a complex topic and boil it down to a simple number that anyone can view from their home.” RT.live uses data from The Covid Tracking Project, which is a volunteer organization dedicated to collecting and publishing COVID-19 outbreak numbers.
Systrom and Krieger, if you aren’t aware, exited Instagram parent Facebook a couple of years ago. The duo doesn’t plan on turning this project into a company just yet. Nothing seems to be off the table though.