Releasing soon: Real-time Atypical Rt Metric

See the video:

See Atypical Rt play out over the course of the COVID-19 epidemic in the United States, from Mar 2 through June 23. Areas with less transmission than expected are blue, those with higher than expected are yellow to red.

This week, Kinsa is launching a new metric of disease spread — Atypical Transmission (Rt) — which measures the rate at which influenza-like illnesses, including COVID-19, are spreading in different parts of the country in real-time; higher than average illness transmission is considered to be ‘atypical Rt’. Like our other measures, the aggregate, anonymized data visualized here is a product of Kinsa’s network of Smart Thermometers and accompanying mobile applications.

We’re still exploring whether this metric provides an even earlier indicator of spreading contagious illness than our Atypical Illness Signal. While we continue our analysis and scientific research on how much of a leading indicator this data is, we are able to use this new metric to monitor the impact of reopening policies across the country — for more details, please read our extended blog post on Atypical Rt.

While our team works on some final touches to add this to the HealthWeather map,  here are a few highlights that show what Atypical Rt looked like at critical moments in the epidemic:

February 22 — Early in the epidemic, before widespread community spread was confirmed, we see unusually high levels of illness transmission in Washington state, about a week before the first confirmed U.S. death in Kirkland, WA.


March 5 — Weeks before New York became the epicenter of COVID-19, we see unusually high levels of illness transmission (“atypical Rt”) in New York state, as well as in Florida, Texas and other parts of the Southern US.


April 3 — Social distancing drives illness transmission to historic lows nationwide, helping to break the chain of infection for all manners of contagious illnesses.


May 10 — Pockets of increased transmission start to emerge – as transmission in hard-hit New York starts to decline, transmission in states like CA, TX and FL starts to pick up.


June 17 — We see higher than expected levels of illness transmission in several areas which we now see are experiencing a large surge in COVID-19 cases, including Texas, South Carolina, Arizona, Southern California.