Instagram founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger have launched their first new project since leaving Facebook. As detailed in a report from TechCrunch, Krieger and Systrom have debuted Rt.live, a website dedicated to tracking how fast COVID-19 is spreading across each state in the U.S.
“Rt” has been a commonly used metric during the COVID-19 pandemic. It measures the average number of people who become infected by an infectious person. The higher the Rt is above 1 for a state, the quicker the virus is spreading.
“If Rt is above 1.0, the virus will spread quickly,” the Rt.live website explains. “When Rt is below 1.0, the virus will stop spreading.” Krieger explained some of the motivation behind launching the Rt.live dashboard in an interview with TechCrunch.
“We built Rt.live because we believe Rt — the effective infection rate — is one of the best ways to understand how COVID is spreading” Kreiger explains. “It was great to work together again — we were able to take it from idea to launch in just a few days because of all our history & shared context.”
The goal is for the data on the dashboard to become useful to states as they consider if and when to reopen. “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 told Josh Constine of TechCrunch.
The data shows states where shelter-in-place orders seem to be working, such as New York where the Rt score is at 0.54. Georgia has the highest rate of infection with an Rt score of 1.5. You can also see the trend of the Rt score in states over time.
You can check out the data for yourself here, with a detailed state-by-state breakdown of the infection rate.