Is Michigan really social distancing? Phone data shows the answer

Joanna Estrada
March 26, 2020

Unacast says the CDC has stated that social distancing is now the most effective way to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Unacast released their "Social Distancing Scoreboard" earlier this week.

Michiganders are getting a good grade for social distancing, according to data and analytics firm Unacast. The grades rely on cellphone movements. An "A" is achieved when travel decreases by 40 percent or more.

The company has statistics for every state in the country and every county in Iowa.

First reported byThe Washington Post on Tuesday, the interactive map and graphing reveal that Alaska, District of Columbia, Nevada, New Jersey, and Rhode Island join MI as being among those states that earned A ratings. At the time of the data collection, the state had 474 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

A closer local look shows that Oakland, Livingston, Luce, and Kalamazoo Counties are top of their class, doing a banging job with glowing A ratings when it comes to reducing travel. Those counties still have no confirmed cases.

On Monday, San Juan County issued a shelter-in-place order, and residents were asked to limit trips out of Silverton.

In the Stateline, both DeKalb and McHenry Counties received an "A", each having a 43% and 48% decrease in travel respectively. Montezuma County, with zero reported cases as of Tuesday, saw only a 20% change in average distance traveled, resulting in a D score. Boone and Lee Counties both received a "C" for a 29 and 33% drop in distance traveled.

OK, OK, but how did Unacast get this data exactly? OR and New Mexico, both of which have C scores.

As of Tuesday, Michigan reported 1,791 positive cases of coronavirus and 24 people have died. The company, which normally analyzes the data for businesses, has started to use it for public health efforts around COVID-19.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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