Cellphone Data Reveals The Bay Area Observed Less Compliance With New Stay-At-Home Order

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Cellphone data revealed that the Bay Area residents are not following the new stay-at-home order than the beginning of the pandemic in March.

Unacast, a data company that gathers cellphone data from millions of mobiles for private companies, revealed the “Social Distancing Scoreboard” that showed which county residents have been following the new health orders. The company rates each region from A through F based on three factors: change in average mobility based on travel distance, change in non-essential visits, and difference in encounter density.

The firm previously used only change in average mobility when grading counties in the spring. However, since the surge of the coronavirus pandemic, Unacast has added the other two factors to increase its precision.

Unacast said, “Travel distance is one aspect, but of course people can travel far without meeting a soul or travel 50 feet and end up in a crowd, so we know that the real world picture can be quite complex.” The firm added it would continue improving its social distancing models to monitor the situation in real-time more accurately.

The company recorded each county in the Bay Area with an “A” grade except for one due to the significant reduction in average mobility. The recording came only two weeks after six Bay Area counties implemented the new stay-at-home order.

However, December 17 data, after nearly two weeks of five Bay Area counties preemptively implementing the new stay-at-home order, only one county received the “A” grade, the San Francisco Gate reported.

Officials noted that the current stay-at-home order allowed several outdoor activities that were previously banned in the spring, including going to parks or golf courses. Additionally, with Unacast adding two new factors, it also changed its grading thresholds. Despite some Bay Area counties having similar data from spring, they have now been marked as “B” grade.

The changes suggest that these regions should have received a grade of “B” in the spring rather than an “A.” However, the consensus remains that the Bay Area has observed less compliance to the stay-at-home order than the end of March.

Danielle Joyce Ong

Danielle is a local journalist with a passion for exploring stories related to crime and politics. When Danielle isn't busy writing or reading, she is usually exploring the great outdoors and all the hiking trails in the Bay.