How Good Are Americans at Social Distancing? It Depends

Here’s how different parts of the nation are reacting to COVID-19 and the social distancing protocols being implemented by the states.

How Good Are Americans at Social Distancing? It Depends

Educational facilities have seen the greatest decrease in building entry. By March 30, in response to the COVID-19 crisis, building unlocks of schools and universities were down to 10%.

Openpath has published its Social Distancing Index, which reveals how different parts of the United States are reacting to COVID-19 and social distancing protocols.

The company’s access control platform has visibility into the entry logs of more than 1,200 unique organizations spanning the country.

The anonymized data has a wide range of industry segments including commercial real estate, business/enterprise, education, places of worship, gyms, retail and manufacturing, giving Openpath insights into how COVID-19 and social distancing are impacting the country at a granular level.

Openpath measured social distancing through its building entry software beginning the week of February 24, when all states were operating at 100%. As of April 6, building entry stood at 26%.

Here are more insights from the survey:

Building Entry Activity by State

  • Michigan saw the biggest decrease in building entries in the third week of March (3/16) compared to the second week (3/9) – an 85% decrease.
  • California was the first state to issue a stay-home order on 3/19. But social distancing was being practiced before that—building entry decreased from 84% to 33% between the week of 3/9 and 3/16.
  • Massachusetts practiced social distancing early, as building entries decreased by 50% from the week of 3/2 to the week of 3/9, more than any other state.
  • In contrast, Nebraska has yet to issue a shelter-in-place order, so data shows no decrease in building entry.
  • States that were late to issue a shelter in place continued to see relatively high rates of building entry the week of 3/30:
    • Georgia (shelter in place effective: 4/3, building entry week of 3/30: 63%)

Building Entry Activity by Industry

  • Across industries, education, gyms and places of worship have seen the greatest decreases in building entry. By the week of 3/30, building unlocks in these locations were down to:
      • Education: 10%
      • Gym: 10%
      • Places of worship: 16%
  • Meanwhile, manufacturing/industrial workplaces and government continue to see relatively high building entry. The week of 3/30, building unlocks in these locations stood at:
      • Manufacturing/Industry: 42%
      • Government 49%

This article originally appeared in CS sister publication My Tech Decisions

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