New research suggests Alberta’s COVID-19 R value is currently too high to lift restrictions


When it comes to decisions to increase or decrease mandatory measures in Alberta, the most important number the province monitors might be the reproduction number – also known as the R-value.

The province has not released the R-value since Nov. 22, but Global News has obtained research which shows that as of Dec. 4, the breeding number is 1.215 in Alberta, 1.253 in the Calgary area and 1.198 in the Edmonton area.

READ MORE: Value of coronavirus R in Alberta remains low after parts of economy reopen

The R-value explains how many people a positive case will infect. For example, if the R value is one, then one person will infect another person, who will infect another person.

An R number of two means that one person infects two others who infect two others each. An R number of 0.5 means that fewer people will be infected than the previous generation of cases.

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COVID-19: Kenney wants Alberta’s R-value to drop below 1

COVID-19: Kenney wants Alberta’s R-value to drop below November 1 – 27, 2020

The R-value is the metric according to Premier Jason Kenney that will be used to assess the new metrics announced on November 24.

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Kenney said the province’s R-value must be less than one by Dec. 15 for the measures to be lifted; he said that ideally the R-value would be 0.8.

READ MORE: Alberta officials no longer plan to publicly display provincial R-value

Alberta officials told Global News on November 27 that the provincial value for COVID-19 R would begin to be publicly released on November 30, but then reversed that decision on December 2. The province said the Nov. 27 announcement was made ahead of a final. decision on the matter.

“We’ll discuss this at our next cabinet COVID committee on what metrics to release and when to release them, how often as we move into the weeks and months ahead,” Kenney said on Dec. 2.

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The premier said another important parameter the province pays great attention to is the positivity rate. On Friday it was 10.5% and on Saturday the test positivity rate over the past 24 hours was just under 9%.

Alberta’s COVID-19 positivity rate reaches 10.5%

Alberta’s COVID-19 positivity rate reaches 10.5%

– With files from Julia Wong, Global News

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© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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