New coronavirus map shows which states are best at social distancing

Location data company Unacast has created an interactive scoreboard​ to show how social distancing is working within communities to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Slowing the spread of COVID-19 is key, and location data and analytics company Unacast has designed an interactive scoreboard it updates daily to show the efficacy of social distancing initiatives. The map features each US state and compares a community’s social distancing activity prior to coronavirus and after coronavirus, and rates it on how well it’s working. 

In the wake of the global pandemic, the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have advised social distancing as a containment method to slow the spread of coronavirus.

SEE: Coronavirus: Critical IT policies and tools every business needs (TechRepublic Premium) 

The scoreboard is the first component of a COVID-19 toolkit that the company is assembling for free use for public health experts, policy makers, academics, community leaders and businesses to try to slow the spread of coronavirus, according to a press release.

“The public response this week has been remarkable and validates our belief that presenting aggregated information on social distancing behavior will help organizations and businesses better understand public behavior in a post COVID-19 world, and is a powerful tool to help mitigate the pandemic spread. Our goal in developing this and our COVID-19 Toolkit is to empower organizations to unearth reliable and valuable information to guide critical decision making and planning in relation to COVID-19 containment,” Thomas Walle, CEO and co-founder of Unacast, said in a press release. 

The social distancing scoreboard, “will not only help make sense of what’s happening now, but unearth trends that will help project scenarios in the short- and mid-term future,” Walle said.

Scoreboard shows how states are social distancing

The scoreboard shows the mobility trends of each community and state. For instance, the state of New York, based on data from March 23, ranks a grade of A because residents are traveling 45% less now than before COVID-19 became a threat. California, on the other hand, ranks a grade of B, because residents only reduced travel by 39%. 

According to Unacast, the top five states for social distancing are:

  • District of Columbia – Grade of A
  • Nevada – Grade of A
  • New York – Grade of A
  • New Jersey – Grade of A
  • Alaska – Grade of A

The bottom five states for social distancing are:

  • Idaho – Grade of D
  • Montana – Grade of D
  • North Dakota – Grade of D
  • South Dakota – Grade of D
  • Wyoming – Grade of F

Within each state, the top five and bottom five counties are given. For instance, in New York, these are the best and worst of the bunch, based on how much each has managed to improve social distancing:

  • New York, NY – Grade of A
  • Hamilton, NY – Grade of A
  • Queens, NY – Grade of A
  • Westchester, NY – Grade of A
  • Kings, NY – Grade of A

Bottom five counties:

  • Chautauqua, NY – Grade of D
  • Genesee, NY – Grade of D
  • Cortland, NY – Grade of F
  • Seneca, NY – Grade of F
  • Montgomery, NY – Grade of F

Unacast used the change in average distance traveled from pre-COVID-19 days as a proxy, and determined a social distancing score based on the following parameters:

  • A: >40% decrease
  • B: 30-40% decrease
  • C: 20-30% decrease
  • D: 10-20% decrease
  • F: <10% decrease or increase

SEE: Coronavirus and its impact on the enterprise (TechRepublic Premium)

Flattening the curve with more data analysis

There will be additional components added to Unacast’s COVID-19 Toolkit. The company plans to include a value impact tracker that compares traffic patterns in specific places of interest to the news cycle; an origin-destination flux, which measures changes in human mobility patterns of larger geographic areas; and custom data analysis for organizations that require specific datasets.

The toolkit uses public datasets, as well as aggregate mobility and anonymous device data from tens of millions of devices. The company said in the press release that the toolkit follows all GDPR and CCPA guidelines.

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