Data shows Wyoming getting solid ‘F’ for social distancing in the COVID-19 era

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Data shows Wyoming getting solid 'F' for social distancing in the COVID-19 era

A screenshot from Unacast’s website shows the data company’s interactive social distance map. (Courtesy Unacast)

CASPER, Wyo. – A data company has built an interactive map using data and statistics it has gathered to score states and counties on social distancing practices.

The data firm Unacast has developed a pro-bono social distancing scoreboard to help “governments, institutions and organizations fighting the virus understand the effectiveness of social distancing initiatives,” according to its website.

As of March 22, Wyoming is the only state in the nation to receive an ‘F’ for social distancing.

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As for Wyoming’s neighbors, Montana and Idaho received D’s, Utah and Nebraska got C’s, and Colorado received a B

Distributed by counties, Teton, Park, Washakie and Goshen received A’s, Lincoln County received a B, Natrona County and Campbell County received D’s, Fremont county a C’s, and the rest F’s.

According to Unacast, the map is built with the company’s programming using location data for mobile phones combined with reported cases. Two important metrics the company used were whether people were shelters in place, and measuring the distance when traveling.

The map is adjusted and metrics are adjusted as more data comes in, they said.

The measurements may also be deficient for rural areas like Wyoming, given that many drive long distances just to buy necessities. Oil City News has reached Unacast for more details, and any response will be added to this story.

When the Wyoming map was last updated on the 22nd, there were only 22 reported positive cases of COVID-19. As of Wednesday, March 25, there are 40 confirmed cases.

The Washington Post, which first reported on Unacast’s map, said the data is being tracked by certain apps in user phones. Unacast declined to tell the post which apps it was using. Other tech companies like Google and Facebook regularly use apps to track the habits and travels of smartphone users.

The Post reports that the federal government is in talks with Google, Facebook and other technology companies to use the anonymous location data they collect to help fight coronavirus.

The full explanation of how Unacast came up with their measurements can be read here.