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North Yorkshire Public Health Director Urges Caution on 'R' Number

North Yorkshire Public Health Director Urges Caution on 'R' Number

Published by Jon Burke at 8:01am 18th July 2020.

North Yorkshire's Director of Public Health says people should be wary about the 'R' number.

Doctor Lincoln Sargeant says the figure, which represents the rate of coronavirus infections, can be misleading - if it's used too locally.

For example, if five people in a family in a local area became infected by coronavirus, that could be seen as a 500 per cent rise.

Doctor Lincoln said:

"The 'R' value is a useful summary. It works best on kind of a regional level, but when numbers begin to get very small, the 'R' value begins to be very unpredictable. It can move around very quickly, just due to random variation."

The government says the 'R' number needs to be below one, to show the virus isn't spreading.

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