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Google’s mobility data shows how each state in the U.S. is faring with social distancing

April 3, 2020, 5:11 PM UTC

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While Washington has yet to issue a national stay-at-home order, many states and businesses have taken it upon themselves to urge people to stay home to halt the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. But for some people, cabin fever is proving too strong to overcome.

That’s dangerous, of course. Even if you feel healthy, you could be spreading the virus to others. Now Google has launched a new website that uses anonymous location data from users of its products and services to estimate how effective people are at social distancing on a state by state (and country by country) basis.

The COVID-19 Community Mobility Reports break the data down into six categories: Retail and recreation, grocery and pharmacy, parks, transit stations, workplaces, and residential. The data can help health care officials determine up-and-coming coronavirus hotspots, but it can also help residents get a sense of how seriously people in their state are taking social distancing precautions.

The data is being updated regularly, so it’s always worth checking the site to see if neighbors are sheltering more or less as the situation evolves. (Google notes it should not be used for guidance on personal travel plans.) But, as of March 29 (the most recent data available at the time this story was written), here’s who seems to be paying the most attention to warnings.

A note on our methodology: Our comparisons focused on the retail and recreation and parks categories, since those are two of the most popular nonessential ways people could be leaving the house, but still potentially infecting others.

Here’s what we found: Retail and recreation traffic to places like restaurants, shopping centers, libraries, movie theaters, and cafés was down across the board. This isn’t especially surprising, given how many retailers are closing their doors to protect their employees and the general public.

Parks were a different matter, though. While many people were sheltering at home and avoiding public areas (including beaches, dog parks, plazas, and public gardens), several states saw explosions in traffic at these gathering spots. In fact, traffic in Nebraska, South Dakota, and Ohio more than doubled. And North Dakota was close behind.

Curious about the numbers in your state? Here’s a breakdown of traffic compared with the baseline.

Alabama

Retail and Recreation: -41%

Parks: +19%

Alaska

Retail and Recreation: -48%

Parks: +18%

Arizona

Retail and Recreation: -40%

Parks: -7%

Arkansas

Retail and Recreation: -29%

Parks: +81%

California

Retail and Recreation: -50%

Parks: -38%

Colorado

Retail and Recreation: -51%

Parks: -12%

Connecticut

Retail and Recreation: -56%

Parks: -52%

Delaware

Retail and Recreation: -47%

Parks: -6%

District of Columbia

Retail and Recreation: -64%

Parks: -41%

Florida

Retail and Recreation: -50%

Parks: -48%

Georgia

Retail and Recreation: -48%

Parks: -2%

Hawaii

Retail and Recreation: -56%

Parks: -65%

Idaho

Retail and Recreation: -42%

Parks: +25%

Illinois

Retail and Recreation: -53%

Parks: -29%

Indiana

Retail and Recreation: -48%

Parks: +24%

Iowa

Retail and Recreation: -43%

Parks: +41%

Kansas

Retail and Recreation: -36%

Parks: +72%

Kentucky

Retail and Recreation: -37%

Parks: +68%

Louisiana

Retail and Recreation: -45%

Parks: -18%

Maine

Retail and Recreation: -50%

Parks: -24%

Maryland

Retail and Recreation: -45%

Parks: +29%

Massachusetts

Retail and Recreation: -59%

Parks: -56%

Michigan

Retail and Recreation: -58%

Parks: +15%

Minnesota

Retail and Recreation: -58%

Parks: +16%

Mississippi

Retail and Recreation: -32

Parks: +27

Missouri

Retail and Recreation: -38%

Parks: +73%

Montana

Retail and Recreation: -51%

Parks: +28%

Nebraska

Retail and Recreation: -34%

Parks: +109%

Nevada

Retail and Recreation: -47%

Parks: -38%

New Hampshire

Retail and Recreation: -58%

Parks: -63%

New Jersey

Retail and Recreation: -59%

Parks: -36%

New Mexico

Retail and Recreation: -44%

Parks: -12%

New York

Retail and Recreation: -62%

Parks: -47%

North Carolina

Retail and Recreation: -40%

Parks: +13%

North Dakota

Retail and Recreation: -44%

Parks: +73%

Ohio

Retail and Recreation: -43%

Parks: +117%

Oklahoma

Retail and Recreation: -36%

Parks: +29%

Oregon

Retail and Recreation: -51%

Parks: -22%

Pennsylvania

Retail and Recreation: -50%

Parks: -7%

Rhode Island

Retail and Recreation: -55%

Parks: -50%

South Carolina

Retail and Recreation: -38%

Parks: -4%

South Dakota

Retail and Recreation: -35%

Parks: +126%

Tennessee

Retail and Recreation: -35%

Parks: +35%

Texas

Retail and Recreation: -45%

Parks: -27%

Utah

Retail and Recreation: -41%

Parks: +26%

Vermont

Retail and Recreation: -62%

Parks: -55%

Virginia

Retail and Recreation: -39%

Parks: +46%

Washington

Retail and Recreation: -48%

Parks: -11%

West Virginia

Retail and Recreation: -38%

Parks: +52%

Wisconsin

Retail and Recreation: -55%

Parks: -12%

Wyoming

Retail and Recreation: -37%

Parks: +29%

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