Cell Phone Data Study Claims San Angelo Stinks at Social Distancing
SAN ANGELO, TX – As federal, state, and local governments increase restrictions in an effort to reduce the number of Coronavirus cases in their communities, citizens are called to modify their behavior and reduce the amount of time they spend out and about.
Unacast.com uses cellphone data to extrapolate the movement that is occurring in communities. According to the website, their metrics can measure how people are adapting their everyday behavior. The website measures changes in average distance traveled. The study measures mobility in distance traveled and also estimates how much of that movement was non-essential.
The data revealed that as more cases are confirmed, the bigger the changes are on average distances traveled at the county level. Data points are updated three days after a case is confirmed, allowing for more accurate data to be presented. Counties are then awarded a letter grade in response to social distancing measures.
According to the site, Tom Green County has earned a “D”, indicating only a 10% -- 20% decrease in average distance traveled. The interactive map allows anyone to look for data in counties across the country.
Harris County, which currently has 563 confirmed cases, scored a “C”, Dallas County, with 549 cases, scored a “C”, and Lubbock County, with 77 cases, currently has a “C” grade. Closer to home, Taylor County, where most of Abilene is, also scored a D as did Midland County. But Ector County, home of Odessa, earned a D-.
According to different studies, it appears social distancing measures appear to be helping slow the spread of the virus.
According to David Hutton, Associate Professor of Health Management and Policy at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, the changes have been helpful. The impact of the implemented changes may not be visible immediately, but they are expected to have a significant impact on communities.
“It takes almost a week or so before symptoms develop, and then it takes another few days for someone to go to the hospital, and then another few days for them to actually get tested and get their test results back,” said Hutton in a Q & A session conducted by the university. “So there is going to be a natural lag or delay between when you implement successful interventions to reduce the spread of disease and when you see the actual number of reported cases peak or begin to drop.”
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