Current R Number estimate - 20 August

Date published: 20 August 2020

The Department of Health continues to publish the Covid-19 reproduction number on a weekly basis.

The current estimate of R is 1.0 – 1.6

This means R is likely to be around 1.3 at present.

R represents the number of individuals who, on average, will be infected by a single person with the infection.  R does not have a fixed value but varies with time, and is likely to be different every day.

Whenever R is above 1, the epidemic is increasing.  The R number should not be viewed in isolation and must be considered alongside other indicators.  At this stage the number of positive tests per day is likely to be a more important parameter.

The 7 day rolling average for new cases has increased and is now at over 40 per day.  There is also likely to be a more widespread increase in community transmission which is a matter of significant concern.  Hospital admissions are increasing very slowly but are still at a low level.  However, they are likely to rise further if cases continue to do so.


Notes to editors: 

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