How is Kentucky doing on social distancing? Here’s what a new database says

To combat the spread of the coronavirus, officials in Kentucky and around the world have stressed the importance of “social distancing.”

But how good of a job is the Bluegrass State and each of its 120 counties doing in listening to health officials?

A new “Social Distancing Scoreboard” from Unacast, a “human mobility data” firm, gives Kentucky a “B” for how well its residents are staying home and at least six feet away from one another.

OK, well, that’s not really the best way to describe the methodology.

To grade each state and county, Unacast calculated the change in average distance traveled by tracking GPS data from tens of millions of anonymous smartphones and extrapolating the results based on population.

The firm uses a specific date, with March 20 the first point in its database, and compares the average movement with what’s typical on that day of the week during a non-coronavirus season.

Live updates: Get the latest information on COVID-19 in Kentucky

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According to Unacast, states and counties receive the following letter grades for the corresponding decrease in average distance traveled:

A = greater than 40% decrease
B = 30 – 40% decrease
C = 20 – 30% decrease
D = 10 – 20% decrease
F = less than 10% decrease or an increase
Kentucky had a 34% decrease in average distance traveled, according to Unacast, which said it will update its database daily.

That puts the Bluegrass State right on par with the national average, per Unacast’s latest data.

Kentucky had at least 163 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of Tuesday evening, Gov. Andy Beshear said.

Washington, D.C., is the best in the nation at social distancing, Unacast found, with the nation’s capital reducing its average mobility by 60%.

Wyoming was the only state to receive an F, with no change in average mobility.

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