According to the CDC, social distancing is currently the most effective way to slow the spread of COVID-19. To ensure Georgians’ social distancing, the statewide shelter in place order was issued on April 2nd. Under this order, Georgia residents were told to minimize travel and take precautions to limit social interaction.
COVID-19 timeline in Georgia (See the spread in an animated map)
- March 3: Fulton County dad and son test positive for COVID-19 after Italy trip
- March 9: COVID-19 cases in Georgia increase to 17
- March 12: Georgia reports 1st COVID-19 related death
- March 16: Cases rise over 100
- March 24: Cases rise over 1,000
- April 2: Statewide shelter in place order was issued
- April 8: Cases rise over 10,000
- April 13: Death toll at 480; cases top 13,600
This Dashboard , created by ARC Research & Analytics and Neighborhood Nexus, provides a quick and easy way to assess the extent of crisis-period mobility changes by County. Daily mobility change, for each of the days from March 8 to April 13, are compared to the average value across a “pre-crisis” period of February 17 to March 7.
The dashboard has two elements: a line graph and a bar chart. The line graph shows daily mobility change March 8-March 13; you will see that travel has generally declined. The bar chart illustrates total mobility change (via an index) during the March 8th to April 13th period, compared to February 7 to March 7th. The mobility change index is based on comparing the medians of the max-distance mobility of all the samples taken of travel across our region. An index value of 100 for a given date indicates that there is no measurable change in travel between the given date and the average mobility value for the “pre-crisis” period of February 17th to March 7th–that is. the medians are equal. If that value is less than 100, it means that people have traveled less in the more recent “crisis” period (again, March 8-April 13 here) than they did in the pre-crisis period. For example, a value of 75 would mean that median travel distance ‘post-COVID’ is 25% less the median of the previous period; a value of 50 indicates that only half as much travel occurred.
Click the image below to open the dashboard (Data: Descartes Labs)
So how has mobility changed in Georgia?
- Mobility levels statewide started to decrease almost immediately after the report of the first death related to COVID-19.
- Mobility since that event (March 8th to April 13th) is almost half of the mobility seen “pre-crisis” (February 17th to March 7th.
- The most dramatic drop in travel occurred from March 8th to March 22nd.
- During the weekdays, the largest amount of travel occurs on Friday, and mobility on weekends is (as usual) less than on weekdays.
Mobility change in 10 county area?
- Each county in the 10-county area had a larger decline in mobility than did the state as a whole; explanations could include the relatively higher share of white-collar jobs in the metro. Employees in white-collar jobs tend to be more likely to be able to telecommute.
- On average, DeKalb County experienced the most significant drop in travel while Fayette County dropped the least.
- DeKalb County’s mobility declined with other counties up to March 22, but has nearly flattened out since March 22.
- Cherokee, Douglas, Henry, and Fayette County have the most substantial gap between weekend mobility and weekday mobility.