Cell Phone Data Reveals Which Americans Are Staying At Home And Which Ones Aren’t

The rapid spread of the coronavirus has forced governments and officials to make quick decisions and issue strict measures in the struggle to flatten the curve.

Yet, as the stay-at-home orders and guidelines are not equally respected everywhere, a Norwegian company that analyzes GPS data and provides data to the various industries, Unacast, developed a Social Distancing Scoreboard that reveals which states are social-distancing, and which of them are ignoring these orders.

Social distancing involves staying at home, and when necessary, going outside, but keeping a distance of a least six feet from other people.

According to Unacast’s social distancing scoreboard, Americans are traveling 40% less since February 

The color-coded map makes a comparison between current data on locations and data from a typical day before the start of the pandemic. The green-colored states are doing well, while the ones colored in orange are not.

The interactive map assigns a letter grade to every state and county, with “A” meaning that social behavior has decreased by over 40%, and “F” meaning that it did by less than 10 percent.

Jeanne Meyer, a spokesperson for Unacast, said:

“This is a pro bono initiative. They have 25 data scientists that took five years’ work and spent four days cooking this thing up to help with what’s happening.”

Meyer added that one might draw very large conclusions from it, and “the value with this will come over time.”

Thomas Walle, CEO of Unacast, said:

“We see that many states and counties have had a significant drop in mobility and distance traveled over the last week. We are facing very uncertain times and what’s important in uncertain times is to have access to some data to make the best decisions possible.”

Data analysis of GPS movement showed that Alaska, Nevada, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Washington DC were the best at social distancing, while Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, New Mexico, and Oregon need to improve.

Yet, in a blog post, the company stated that it intends to update the social distancing scores as it gets more data.

Green-colored states are driving or commuting less now, the ones in orange are staying basically the same. 

Social distancing has been advised as the most effective way to slow and, hopefully, stop the spread of the coronavirus.

As there is no cure or vaccine for the novel coronavirus, the only way we can prevent an overload of the healthcare system is by flattening the curve.

The graphic shows the two possible curves, one with distancing measures in place and one without, which dramatically exceeds our healthcare system’s capacity.

The first curve shows that if we follow the social distancing measures, we will manage to remain just below the system’s capacity. This means that all COVID-19 patients will get the necessary care.