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City officials respond to rising 'social distancing grade' for Kern County

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Posted at 9:30 PM, Apr 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-14 00:44:26-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — At the beginning of the month, Kern County was graded an "F" for social distancing by the company Unacast, a company collecting data from 'app partners' to examine social distancing throughout the country.

According to the latest data Kern County's grade has improved, and the City of Bakersfield is responding.

The latest Unacast data, as of April 13, Kern County ranks at a "C+", announcing 40-55% reduction in mobility.

The scorecard uses human mobility insights to get the data. This dataset includes location data, map data and strategic intelligence.

Bakersfield City spokesperson Joe Conroy said in a statement that Kern County's initial low grade may be the result of our two biggest industries, agriculture and oil, both of which are considered essential.

Unacast also recently upgraded its grading system to include the differences in non-essential and essential visits. For non-essential visits, Kern County received a "B", meaning Unacast saw at 65-70% decrease. Kern County also received a "B" for 82-94% decrease in encounters density compared to the national baseline.

The City of Bakersfield said it is grateful to see the efforts made by residents to improve social distancing during these times. "We can do more, and continuing to social distance is the single most important thing we can do to impact the spread of COVID-19," said Conroy in a statement. "But we appreciate your efforts as a community to follow the Stay Home order and save lives."