Maryland Receives “A” in Social Distancing

A newly created Social Distancing Scoreboard gives Maryland an overall “A” rating, with Montgomery County topping the state leaderboard. New nationwide polling suggests that the United States is taking social distancing more seriously, but officials are still urging all residents to stay in their homes as much as possible.

Unacast has created a new way they believe can measure how well residents are practicing social distancing. Scores are generated through an analysis of mobile phone data to estimate the change in average distance traveled. With an estimated 52 percent reduction in travel by residents, Montgomery county leads the state. Several other counties also received an “A,” and overall Maryland has an estimated 43 percent reduction.

From Unacast’s Social Distancing Scoreboard:

By focusing the geospatial human mobility insights our technology can surface, we created this pro bono Social Distancing Scoreboard as the first of many tools we are developing for a Unacast COVID-19 Toolkit — designed to provide high-quality insights to public agencies, healthcare organizations, local governments and businesses to enable them to learn and act in the best interest of at-risk populations and the general public.

The Social Distancing Scoreboard and other tools being developed for the Covid-19 Toolkit do not identify any individual person, device, or household. However to calculate the actual underlying social indexing score we combine tens of millions of anonymous mobile phones and their interactions with each other each day – and then extrapolate the results to the population level.

In an informal online poll by Frederick News Post, roughly 64 percent of readers who responded say they are very strictly following social distancing guidelines, and another 28 percent say they are doing their best. However, roughly 8 percent say they are disregarding guidelines.

In a recent nationwide Gallup poll 68 percent of people say they are avoiding small gatherings, up 45 percent from results collected on March 15th. Residents still have reservations about staying inside for extended time periods.

From the Gallup poll results:

There has been less movement on a different measure — Americans’ willingness to remain in their homes for 30 days, should they be asked to do so in the event of a serious outbreak of COVID-19 in their community. Fifty-eight percent now say they are “very likely” to comply, up from 51% last week.

Experts and State officials are urging all residents to stay in their homes as much as possible. For more information visit the Maryland Department of Health’s COVID-19 page.