R, a key metric to watch as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted
2020- 05-27 from cbc.ca
COVID-19 is highly contagious. Government restrictions to impose physical distancing such as business and school closures have curbed its contagion and new cases are down from their peak across the country.
Provinces across Canada have started easing those restrictions, although each in its own way and its own pace. Some have also already said restrictions may need to be reimposed if the outbreak worsens.
But when is it really safe to ease those restrictions? How does that relate to the “peak” of the epidemic? And when might restrictions need to be reimposed?
Tracking the disease’s changing contagion is a key, researchers say. Here’s how it’s done and what that means.
What is the reproduction number?
The contagiousness of diseases is represented by a seemingly simple number: the number of other people a single infected person infects. This is known as the reproduction number, commonly abbreviated with the letter “R.”
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