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How well are we social distancing? Your phone location data can show you

Officials are asking us to stay home and away from others to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Are we listening?
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — If there is a phrase that should be ingrained in your brain right now, it’s social distancing. 

And, the idea that both local and national health officials are pushing social distancing and isolation to help stop the spread of COVID-19, the coronavirus.

That’s why counties like Pinellas and Hillsborough are issuing “safer-at-home” directives and entire countries are going on lockdown. But, as we saw earlier this month with spring breakers, the idea has not fully caught on.

RELATED: Hillsborough County passes 'safer-at-home' order

How well is your state practicing social distancing? Well, your phone data has the answer to that.

Tech company Unacast created an interactive scoreboard that breaks down every state and their counties' social distancing grade based on phone data. The map is updated regularly.

Here’s how it works:

  • Unacast uses the change in distance traveled before COVID-19 spread to assign a score to each county: A-F
  • The score is based on the increase or decrease of social activity in those areas. The more the activity decreases, the higher the score you receive.
  • Each county's score combined creates an overall state grade.
  • The reported number of COVID-19 cases is taken into account

Based on data last collected on March 22, the U.S. has a grade of B.

The 50 states have seen a 40 percent decline in travel since the initial spread of COVID-19.

As for Florida, we have a grade of A.

The Sunshine State has seen a 42 percent decline in travel since the coronavirus pandemic took off. But, some counties are doing better than others.

 Some counties in the panhandle have C-F scores as their travel data shows only a small decline in movement, according to the data. It is important to note that a lot of these counties still do not have any confirmed cases of COVID-19 as can be seen in the Florida Department of Health’s COVID-19 case tracker.

RELATED: This interactive map shows coronavirus cases in Florida

According to the data, areas that have issued both “safer-at-home: and “stay-at-home” orders and their surrounding counties are seeing a higher decrease in social outings.

With Pinellas County down 41 percent and Hillsborough down 38 percent.

RELATED: Pinellas County issues 'safer-at-home' order to stop spread of COVID-19

As for who rounds out the top and bottom across the United States:  

The top five states are: (As of March 27)

  1. District of Columbia (A)
  2. Nevada (A)
  3. New Jersey (A)
  4. Vermont (A)
  5. Massachusetts (A)

The bottom five states are: (As of March 27)

  1. Wyoming (F)
  2. Montana (D)
  3. Hawaii (D)
  4. Idaho (D)
  5. New Mexico (C)

If you want to see results for other parts of the U.S. click here.

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