Santa Barbara County Receives B Rating for Social Distancing

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Santa Barbara County Receives B Rating for Social Distancing
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The line at Trader Joe's on Milpas in March (Photo: Blazer)

By edhat staff

An analytics firm is using cellphone location data to track how well counties are following social distancing guidelines.

Unacast revealed their pro bono Social Distancing Scoreboard following the COVID-19 pandemic. It features an interactive map that assigns letter grades to every state and county in America based on how well the company's data analysis determines residents' practice of social distancing.

As of Monday, 4/20/20, Santa Barbara County is averaging a B for rating overall. The county is receiving a C based on a 40 - 55% reduction in average mobility (distance traveled), an A for greater than 70% for a reduction in non-essential visits, and a B for an 82 - 94% decrease in encounters density compared to the National baseline, according to Unacast.

Santa Barbara County Public Health Director Dr. Van Do-Reynoso confirmed at a Board of Supervisors meeting on April 7 they are currently using Unacast data and Google for their modeling to determine how well Santa Barbara County residents are practicing social distancing.

Dr. Do-Reynoso explained based on that data, Santa Barbara County is anywhere between 40-60% compliant. She also expressed these metrics are not absolute but are useful in terms of future planning.

San Luis Obispo County is also receiving a B rating while Ventura County is rated C-. The United States as a whole is currently receiving a C+ rating while California earns a B-.

Unacast uses three metrics to measure social distancing. The first is a change in average distance traveled compared to a pre-COVID-19 period, followed by a change in visitation to non-essential venues compared to a pre-COVID-19 period, and the probability that two devices (or people) were in the same place at the same time posing a potential for human encounters.

Since the pandemic, Unacast has rolled out a collection of data sets titled the COVID-19 Location Data Toolkit showing trends and patterns. They recently unveiled their Retail Impact Scoreboard which aims to track which industries are seeing visitation changes as a result of COVID-19.

According to the retail scoreboard, the grocery and food retail industry in California received a big boost between March 13-18, around the same time the White House issued guidelines to avoid gatherings. In recent weeks, the industry has seen a 20% drop in foot traffic this time last year. However, keep in mind this does not track revenue, simply the number of people visiting these locations.

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a-1587482185 Apr 21, 2020 08:16 AM
Santa Barbara County Receives B Rating for Social Distancing

I've been at Hendry's Beach, (arroyo burro) a lot these days, and I see everyone being VERY conscientious. And there is no better thing you can do for lung health and overall well being than to walk on the beach and breach the fresh ocean air. In the early 1900's hoards of people came from the east coast when their health was suffering specifically to do just that. My family was one among them. Let's talk about strengthening the immune system, not taking away our rights. There will always be new viruses in the air and in our bodies. Don't live in fear.

MountainMan4865 Apr 21, 2020 03:21 PM
Santa Barbara County Receives B Rating for Social Distancing

We've got 5 rotary phone at our house, and just picked up a 1955 payphone. Super excited! The only bummer is we're told to have plug in landlines so we will still have phone service during a power outage, except Verizon retrung the mountain with fiber optic instead of copper after the Paint Fire. Oh well.

a-1587815666 Apr 25, 2020 04:54 AM
Santa Barbara County Receives B Rating for Social Distancing

Of course. I wonder all the time.
Do you DO anything about it? Do you use a smart phone? or are you just complaining? We've known for decades the trade off between consumer tech and our data. You seem to be sticking your head in the sand.

a-1587424270 Apr 20, 2020 04:11 PM
Santa Barbara County Receives B Rating for Social Distancing

I call BS on the study. New York gets an A (where the greatest impact is) but the rural state where I escaped to, before Newsom shut things down, gets a C. The whole state has fewer cases than SB county.

a-1587450938 Apr 20, 2020 11:35 PM
Santa Barbara County Receives B Rating for Social Distancing

It is BS. One of the "factors" they are using is distances people are travelling. Why, I don't know, b/c people can travel just to go for car rides, like through the valley, etc. just to get out a bit. In NYC, you won't have any or not many "distance travelled" numbers because everyone is in the city with no cars for the most part [few have cars in NYC]. Here, we have lots of cars and people likely going for drives or whatever, or farther out to go shopping, so it lowers the score. Which by no means, means we aren't social distancing.

jak Apr 21, 2020 12:57 PM
Santa Barbara County Receives B Rating for Social Distancing

I have reviewed several of these studies now. All make grave errors in interpreting data to construct social distancing models. I probably won’t even waste my time looking at another such study. Like one other commenter I too escaped to a smaller more rural state. While it is clear that we are doing far better than Santa Barbara in social distancing overall, it is not reflected in our “d” grade. Most of these studies have used data mining techniques that are well suited to ad targeting but not well suited to actually measuring interactions. So while I may have to drive fifty miles through population centers every couple weeks to do some basic shopping (therefore pulling my area’s grade way down) my actual social interactions have been distanced very effectively with little behavioral changes too subtle to be picked up by location data that can’t tell whether I am three feet away from a cashier or fifteen feet. Older non-4G data systems that are still common enough in rural areas make the data even coarser.

Alexblue Apr 22, 2020 11:41 AM
Santa Barbara County Receives B Rating for Social Distancing

670, 8:18 do NOT listen to 10:06! They are trying to make it easier for the government to track you and take away your freedom--probably some sort of deep state operator. If you have an iPhone it is so easy to take out and put the battery back in--you just open up the case then gently cut open the containing material to expose the battery, then give a gentle pull and it will unplug. I own a phone and tablet repair business, I have done this many times.

This virus has nothing to do with your health and everything to do with the Deep State and Chicom governments conspiring with WHO to start tracking everyone globally! And then what do you think will happen!

Alexblue Apr 22, 2020 07:15 PM
Santa Barbara County Receives B Rating for Social Distancing

024--haha, I'm just bored, so I made up a stupid conspiracy theory rant expanding on some of what I've read here, but thanks for playing.

And no you can't easily remove an iPhone battery. Just like there's no deep state and we aren't all the victims of a global conspiracy to curtail our freedoms.

People are so f'ing stupid.

a-1587815168 Apr 25, 2020 04:46 AM
Santa Barbara County Receives B Rating for Social Distancing

I doubt many will see this. Y'all need to read up on all the corporate surveillance that your everyday use of a smart phone enables. You're babes in the woods if you don't know how your info is used. All those free apps & services? You're paying with your data. You've been told, it's on you now. Check out this trend on Twitter:
It asks you to type in "Biologically a" and post the fill-in results. Guess what? If you use Duck Duck Go or another browser *other than Google,* IT DOES NOT WORK. Many people consider this a good thing.

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