Travel data report: Bay Area gets good grades for social distancing

By Mark Prado
Social distancing
Mark Prado

The Bay Area is doing well at social distancing, according to a new report from Unacast, which looked at travel patterns before and after shelter-in-place orders.

All Bay Area counties received an "A" or "B" grade, with Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties getting top scores.

Unacast looks at human mobility by mining data from various apps. It used that information to develop a social distancing score that takes into account relevant underlying metrics, each of which explains one facet of social distancing behavior.

The company analyzed:

  • Change in average distance traveled
  • People dwelling at home versus time outside their homes (a proxy for how good an area is at "shelter-in-place" behavior)
  • Changes in average time spent in and around home, aggregated over time (a proxy for how much time people spend at home versus other venues)
  • Change in dispersion of activity clusters, or how many people no longer gathered in the same location at the same time (a proxy for change in number of encounters)

Methodology on how the scoreboard was developed can be found here.

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