The motivation for this work arose from an evaluation of several reports that suggested that Rhode Island (RI) has been subpar in following the ‘stay-at-home’ and ‘social distancing’ orders for combating COVID-19. Consequently, RI was given a poor score (see reports here). Researchers at S4 suspected that this conclusion drawn from unrepresentative data could be misleading. Therefore, S4 decided to analyze Google Mobility data that covers a larger proportion of people globally. In addition, instead of using "mobility" generally, Google uses 7 categories (e.g., parks, transit stations, etc.) to represent different dimensions of mobility, which provides more nuanced details to policy makers.
Baseline: The data shows how visitors to (or time spent in) categorized places change compared to our baseline days. A baseline day represents a normal value for that day of the week. The baseline day is the median value from the 5‑week period Jan 3 – Feb 6, 2020. Value: For each category in a region, a number shows the changes of mobility for the report date to the baseline day. Calculated for the report date and reported as positive or negative percentage. Place Categories: The grouping of categories is made given the similar characteristics for purpose of social distancing guidance. The categories Parks and Transit stations contain many types of places. E.g., Parks include activities pertaining to public garden, castle, national forest, camp ground, observation deck; Transit stations include activities related to subway station, sea port, taxi stand, highway rest stop car rental agency. (Read more about the place categories)