The World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention both agree that social distancing can help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). But how well is Washington practicing social distancing compared to the other states?
This week, a company called Unacast released a new scorecard that grades how states are social distancing. The company analyzes phone GPS data to see how residents in each state, county by county, are changing their movement based on distance traveled.
Scores are based on the decrease in average mobility: an “A” grade is over a 40% decrease; “B” is a 30-40% decrease; “C” is a 20-30% decrease; “D” is a 10-20% decrease; “F” is less than a 10% decrease or an increase in travel.
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On Friday morning, Unacast said Washington had a -28% change in average mobility, giving the state a “C” in social distancing.
King County received an “A” as of Friday morning, with a 41% decrease in average distance traveled. The next highest counties were Island, Kitsap, Jefferson, and Whatcom, which all scored a “B.”
The bottom five counties were Walla Walla, Columbia, Adams, Kittitas, and Klickitat, which all scored an “F."
Overall, the United States scored a “C” Friday with a -27% change in average distance traveled.
Washington D.C., Nevada, New Jersey, Vermont, and Massachusetts received the highest scores with an “A.” While New Mexico (C), Idaho (D), Hawaii (D), Montana (D), and Wyoming (F) received the worst grades, according to Unacast.
Gov. Jay Inslee said Thursday that the coronavirus infection rate in Washington is slowing compared to other states. Using data from other states, Washington has seen at least a “slight reduction” in the rate of acceleration. Inslee said that social distancing could be starting to flatten the curve.
Inslee said the numbers are being helped by the slowing down of new cases primarily in Puget Sound, where the virus first hit in Snohomish County. Within weeks, the number of confirmed cases took off, with a cluster of infections at a Kirkland nursing home.
However, Inslee said we have "not turned a corner and we are not close to the end of this battle."