Google's Mobility Data Shows Arizonans Are Social Distancing

Published: Sunday, April 5, 2020 - 1:58pm
Updated: Monday, April 6, 2020 - 3:52pm

Data released by Google shows Arizonans are social distancing and staying at home much more than they were in February.

Google’s COVID-19 Community Mobility Report collects location data from cellphones to create “aggregated, anonymized” information that shows movement trends across different sectors of the community. The data used is collected similar to data used by Google Maps to show how busy businesses are at a given time. 

For Arizona, the data shows marked decreases in public gatherings and increases in the number of people staying at home.

Compared to the baseline set in February, 40% fewer Arizonans visited “retail & recreation” businesses, like restaurants, cafes, malls, museums, libraries, and movie theatres. 

Grocery stores, warehouse clubs, pharmacies, farmers markets, and specialty food shops saw visitor numbers decline by 17%, after a spike of nearly 20% in early March. 

Public parks saw about a 7% decline, while mass transit stations declined 41%. 

Workplaces saw steady decline starting March 8. By March 29 — the last day this data represents — workplaces had 33% fewer people than the February baseline. 

Data is further broken down by county. Maricopa and Pima Counties, home to the state’s two largest metropolitan areas, show numbers nearly identical to the statewide numbers.

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