‘Social Distancing Scoreboard’ Grades States’ Social Distancing Compliance | How is Your State Doing?

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Gradings by state on Wednesday 1st April. Credit: Unacast

New data shows how well Americans are adjusting to social distancing measures, or not, and grades states accordingly. Unacast, a company that tracks where people go and why has created a Social Distancing Scoreboard based on tens of millions of anonymous cell phones ranking how well states and counties are following social distancing guidelines

The scoreboard, which is updated daily, is a way to “measure and understand the efficacy of social distancing initiatives at the local level,” said the company, also adding that “the data does not identify individual people, devices, or households”.

Broken down by states, and then counties, areas are graded from “A” for the most change to “F” for the least amount of change compared to pre-outbreak travel distance. Unacast looked at data including changes in distance traveled, changes in the average time spent in or around the home and change of activity clusters (or how many people no longer gathered in the same location at the same time).

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Top ten, left, and bottom ten. Credit: Unacast

At the time of writing, the top 5 graded states are District of Columbia, Colorado, Hawaii, Michigan, and Nevada. Bottom of the class are Wyoming, Virginia, Utah, Tennessee, and South Carolina.

The US government is also apparently investigating how it can work with companies such as Facebook and Google to see if cell phone location data can be used to combat the rapid spread of the coronavirus outbreak. 

However, in this author’s humble opinion, that’s a bad move. Once we give them ‘an in’, it’ll be hard to rescind that. Do we really want to give the government the ability to track us 24/7?

“Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety” – Benjamin Franklin

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