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新型コロナ感染拡大前の4年前の同じ時期と比べると、およそ5割にとどまっています。
This is from a news article on the number of seats being used on the Shinkansen.

I understand the meaning is "In comparison to the same time 4 years ago before the coronavirus outbreak, it (the number of available seats) is about 50%” however the と doesn't seem like a conditional in this sentence.

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    Does replacing 比べると by 比べれば or 比べたら in your sentence help to understand it?
    – jarmanso7
    Apr 14 at 23:40

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the "と" at the end of the first sentence is to put a limit on the place where the next clause(usually a conclusion) comes from, it doesn't mean anything, it just plays a grammatical role, it doesn't add additional meaning to the sentence, you can drop it, and it doesn't change the entire meaning of the clause. this usage usually happens in the structure:

clauseA(usually news, a book or other sources)と clauseB(usually conclusion, judgment)

it means that B cites A or which your B is based on.

look at this sentence,と in here works in the same way.

新聞によると 地価がまた上がったそうだ

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