Instagram Founders Launch COVID-19 Initiative Rt.live

Instagram’s COVID-19 initiative has officially launched.

Back in 2010, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger founded Instagram. After selling their social network to Facebook in 2012, the dynamic duo has launched a new initiative— a COVID-19 initiative Rt.live.

Rt.live is a real-time tracking system that shows how fast COVID-19 is spreading in each state. So what exactly are they measuring? “Rt” measures the average number of people who have become infected. The number “1” is a major signifier of how fast COVID-19 is spreading. So the higher above the number 1, the faster the virus is spreading; however, the lower the number is below 1, the slower the virus is spreading.  

Let’s take a look at an example to help explain this COVID-19 initiative further. 

As of today, Vermont is doing the best right now with an Rt of 0.33. The state has come a long way since the end of March when its Rt was 3. On the flipside, Georgia is fairing the worst right now with an Rt of 1.51—even though just a week ago, its Rt was 0.66.

If you want to compare data based on region, you can filter down to see COVID-19 averages, for example, in Northeast states vs. Western states. There is also a filtering option to compare Shelter in Place vs. No Shelter in Place—so you can have a better idea of how stringent measures are impacting the spread of the virus. 

If you’re curious to see how your state is handling COVID-19, go and check out Rt.live. Built on data from the COVID Tracking Project, Rt.live is an open-source data site. Plus, thanks to Instagram’s COVID-19 initiative, you can examine Rt.live’s modeling system on GitHub.

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