Hub for reliable, timely news about COVID-19 pandemic

Georgia receives ‘F’ on social distancing report card

When it comes to social distancing, most Georgians are in the back of the class.

Georgia has received an “F” grade in social distancing, according to extrapolated cell phone data recorded by Unacast.

At the beginning of April, Georgia had a 40 to 55 percent reduction in average mobility based on distance traveled. As of May 5, data shows Georgian’s have only decreased their travel by less than 25 percent.

The top-performing counties are Baker and Hancock counties with a “B-” grade. Those counties continue to decrease travel by 25 to 40 percent on average. They also show a greater than 94 percent decrease in “encounters density” compared to the national baseline.

Various groups of people walking or biking along the Atlanta Beltline during social distancing (Credit: Austin McAfee/FOX 5 Atlanta).

“Encounters density” looks at the proximity between any two users within 50 meters over an hour period, according to Unacast’s methodology.

The vast majority of Georgia counties received either an “F” or a “D” grade. The state’s most populous county and that with the highest number of confirmed cases, Fulton County, received a “D-” grade. Georgia’s least populous county, Taliaferro County, has not had a confirmed case.

Nationwide, Washington, D.C. is the top-performing state with a “C” grade. Residents there have decreased travel between 40 and 55 percent.

Alaska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Maine, Vermont, and Nevada were the next highest-performing states earning “C-” grades.

A long list of states earned “F” grades, including Mississippi, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Texas, Indiana, Illinois, North Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, Ohio, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Rhode Island, and Florida.

To collect the data, Unacast says it used tens of millions of anonymous cell phone records and their interactions with each other in order to ensure user privacy.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.