Google Data Tracks Connecticut Response to Social Distancing

NBC Universal, Inc.

At a time when we are warned to maintain social distancing to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, Google is using data to show the response in several countries and states and has released a report on the state of Connecticut.

The report for Connecticut says mobility to places such as restaurants, cafes, shopping centers, museums, libraries, and movie theaters was down 56 percent from Feb. 16 to March 29, with the sharpest drop-off coming in mid-March.

That was around the time Gov. Ned Lamont issued executive orders to close large shopping malls and places of amusement. He later issued an order that allowed restaurants to serve take-out orders only.

CNBC reports that the Google website uses anonymous location data from the “Location History” setting in Google products and services to show the level of social distancing taking place in various locations.

According to Google, there has been a 32 percent decline in the same period of mobility trends for places like grocery markets, food warehouses, farmers markets, specialty food shops, drug stores, and pharmacies.  

The largest decline, 64 percent, was for public transportation.

State officials have said ridership is down and they have modified schedules in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

The governor has closed non-essential businesses and urged anyone who can to work from home -- and the Google report shows a 38 percent decline in mobility to workplaces while there is a 15 percent increase of residential mobility.

Gov. Ned Lamont is urging Connecticut residents to “Stay Safe, Stay Home,” and issued an order for all nonessential businesses statewide to prohibit in-person functions. “This report shouldn’t be used for medical diagnostic, prognostic, or treatment purposes. It also isn’t intended to be used for guidance on personal travel plans,” the report says.

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