Social distancing during coronavirus: These states are the best, worst at the practice

Unacast used the change in distance traveled to calculate how the US is implementing social distancing

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One of the best ways to protect yourself from catching the coronavirus is to practice “social distancing,” according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

On its website, the CDC says that the virus is believed to be spread between people who are within about 6 feet of one another.

And though the federal government recommends staying at least 6 feet away from other people “if COVID-19 is spreading in your community,” not all U.S. states are doing a good job at instituting the practice.

CORONAVIRUS IMPACT: STATE BY STATE RESTRICTIONS

New York City-based software company Unacast developed a “Social Distancing Scoreboard,” which found which states have done the best job of practicing social distancing -- and which states have done the worst job.

The scoreboard, which is updated daily, shows the top five states, the bottom five states, the top five counties and the bottom five counties in the U.S. for social distancing.

For its results, Unacast analyzes the distance traveled by people in each state compared to “pre-COVID-19 days as a proxy.”

The software company scores each state and county by how much distance traveled has decreased. Regions that have decreased distance traveled by 40 percent or more are given an “A” and regions that have decreased travel between 30 and 40 percent receive a “B.”

Below that, for decreased travel between 20 and 30 percent, regions get a “C,” decreased travel between 10 and 20 percent earn regions a “D” and regions that have only decreased their travel by 10 percent (or have increased their travel), get an “F.”

SOCIAL DISTANCING TO PREVENT CORONAVIRUS IS DIFFICULT IN THESE PROFESSIONS 

Aside from grading states and counties, Unacast also scores the U.S. overall. As of Tuesday evening, the country had a score of “B.”

Though Unacast’s scoreboard uses the change in average distance traveled, the company said in a blog post that the one metric isn’t really enough to completely measure social distancing.

The blog post said the company would be improving its models to potentially include “change in the number of encounters for a given area” and “change in the number of locations visited.”

“As we better understand our data and how it describes the new world under COVID-19, we will continuously update our social distancing score as well as develop other datasets that can be used in the fight against COVID-19,” the blog post said.

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To see which states are doing the best and worst at practicing social distancing -- at least as far as the state’s change in average distance traveled -- here are the top and bottom states and their scores as of Tuesday evening, according to Unacast.

Top 5 states for social distancing

Washington, D.C.: A

Alaska: A

Nevada: A

New Jersey: A

Rhode Island: A

Bottom 5 states for social distancing

Oregon: C

New Mexico: C

Idaho: D

Montana: D

Wyoming: F

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