Cell Phone Data Shows Which CA Counties are Socially Distancing

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Are you sheltering in place? Have you been wondering if other people are following the social distancing guidelines? Well, thanks to Uncast, now you can find out which areas are following the rules and which areas are not with a helpful scoreboard free to anyone here.

The data company, Uncast, typically collects cell phone location data for private companies, but decided to do this project because, “According to the World Health Organization and the CDC, social distancing is currently the most effective way to slow the spread of COVID-19. We created this interactive Scoreboard, to empower organizations to measure and understand the efficacy of social distancing initiatives at the local level.”

As explained on their website, after testing many different metrics, Uncast found that focusing on a, “Change in average distance traveled” worked best as a starting point. They also state that no specific identity will be revealed and, “To calculate the actual underlying social indexing score we combine tens of millions of anonymous mobile phones and their interactions with each other each day – and then extrapolate the results to the population level.”

Each state and country has received a letter grade from A-F. All of California is down 40% in average distance traveled, resulting in an overall “A”. Additionally, Every Bay Area county, except Solano County, received an “A” grade, and the region’s numbers for reductions in average distance traveled is in line with other national hot spots including New York City and New Orleans.

The nine Bay Area counties are ranked in order of “best at social distancing” to worst below:

1. San Francisco County: 65 percent decrease (A)

2. San Mateo County: 63 percent decrease (A)

3. Santa Clara County: 61 percent decrease (A)

4. Marin County: 56 percent decrease (A)

5. Napa County: 54 percent decrease (A)

6. Alameda County 51 percent decrease (A)

7. Contra Costa County: 48 percent decrease (A)

8. Sonoma County: 41 percent decrease (A)

9. Solano County: 37 percent decrease (B)

The interactive scoreboard will be updated regularly as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.


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