Phone data shows Americans are moving around more, despite social distancing orders

Americans likely relaxed social distancing ahead of state

Curated via Twitter from Recode’s twitter account….

According to aggregated anonymized data from geospatial analytics company Orbital Insight, the median distance people traveled hit a low point on April 12, which was Easter Sunday, of about a half a mile.

The median distance Americans travel each day began to tick up in the past couple of weeks, well before a handful of states have officially begun to reopen their businesses and public spaces and others started talking about reopening.

That Easter Sunday low follows several weeks of declining median distance traveled, as cities and states across the country enacted shelter-in-place orders beginning in March.

To come up with median distance, Orbital Insight used anonymized cellphone location data for 12 million devices, specifically creating a radius from the various locations people visit each day.

Traveling farther or being nearer to people, of course, does not necessarily mean that people are violating social distance orders or going places they’re not supposed to go.

The stay-at-home orders meant to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus brought many economies grinding to a halt, and these reopening efforts represent an attempt to put people back to work.

In Florida and in more rural states, for example, where more people travel by car, it’s possible to more safely socially distance than in, say, parts of New York.

Link to original article….

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