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New Google Tool Quantifies Effects of COVID-19 Related Stay at Home Orders

by Michael Boyink /

Your smartphone knows where you are. And where you have been.

It often shares that information back to companies like Google, who collect the data, aggregate it, and use it in different ways.

Not everyone likes being physically tracked, so most phones allow you turn off location sharing.

Most people don’t do it, however, which leaves Google with a big ol’ pile of data to analyze.

And now Google can tell how well people are following COVID-19 related rules for sheltering at home. 

All they have to do is see where people have been spending time since now vs. where they were spending time a few weeks ago (a baseline).

Google has broken the data down to regions like county, state, and county and published it on the web at:

There wasn’t enough data for Douglas County, but here are their numbers for the United States, Missouri, and Green County (including Springfield):

United States

-47% Retail & Recreation

-22% Grocery & Pharmacy

-19% Parks

-51% Transit Stations

-38% Workplaces

+12% Residential


-38% Retail & Recreation

-12% Grocery & Pharmacy

+73% Parks

-34% Transit Stations

-32% Workplaces

+9% Residential

Green County

-45% Retail & Recreation

-30% in Grocery & Pharmacy

+43% Parks

-34% Transit Stations

-36% Workplace

+10% Residential

Crunching the numbers is easy. Explaining the differences is much harder. 

For example –  why have more Missourians gone to parks than the average American? Why have less people spent more time at home than the average?

Maybe it’s just best to focus on keeping our hands washed, keeping our distance from each other, and reducing our time out in public.