The website, RT.live, uses a statistic known in epidemiology as the effective reproduction number. It tracks the average number of people who catch the virus from one infected person.
“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,” former Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom told Bloomberg.
The Covid Tracking Project, where RT.live gets its data, is an all-volunteer initiative that collects data from trustworthy known sources, such as public health authorities, and reports state-by-state details about the number of COVID-19 tests given, whether they’re positive or negative, the number of hospitalizations and number of deaths.
Systrom told Bloomberg the goal with RT.live was to help give people a better understanding of what the spread of the virus looks like at the local level.