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New data shows Kern County received a failing grade when it comes to social distancing

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Posted at 4:13 PM, Apr 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-03 19:18:09-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Counties throughout the state are under a shelter in place order designed to keep people away from others and encourage social distancing during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The company Unacast released a scorecard that graded each county by their social distancing efforts. According to that scorecard, Kern County received an F.

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

A failing grade according to Unacast means that county has less than a 25% decrease in average mobility (based on distance traveled) and less than a 55% decrease in non-essential visits.

"Unacast's core asset that provides a range of perspectives and critical context for how people relate to physical locations.The COVID-19 toolkit empowers organizations in unprecedented times, to make quality decisions quickly," they said.

The scorecard looks at the change in average distance traveled and changing behavior. "Changing behavior will trigger adjustments in our data strategy. That's why, post launch, we will be continuously working to improve our social distancing models."

The scorecard and other tools being developed for the Covid-19 Toolkit do not identify any individual person, device, or household. However to calculate the actual underlying social indexing score Unacast combines tens of millions of anonymous mobile phones and their interactions with each other each day and then extrapolate the results to the population level.

Overall, California received high marks for reducing movement. Unacast data shows Californians reduced their average distance traveled by a whopping 48 percent from late February to March 22.

But the data shows wide variation between the state’s counties, with some barely reducing travel, if at all, and others reducing travel by more than 70 percent.

Here's a list of how surrounding counties were graded:

  • Santa Barbara County, C
  • Ventura County, C-
  • Los Angeles County, C
  • San Luis Obispo County, C
  • Kings County, D-
  • Monterey County, C
  • Fresno County, D
  • Tulare County, D-
  • Inyo County, F
  • San Bernardino County, D-

You can see a full list of counties throughout California here.