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Michigan gets 'A' for social distancing, data firm says

Charles E. Ramirez
The Detroit News

Michiganians are getting high marks for keeping away from each other in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a Norwegian location data and analytics firm.

Michigan earned an "A" on Unacast's "Social Distancing Scoreboard" Wednesday, the company said. That compares with the B it gave to the United States.

Carol Kozlow wears a mask while taking a walk on Old Woodward in downtown Birmingham on Monday.

Unacast has offices in Oslo, Norway, and New York. The company was started by the two founders of the TIDAL music streaming service, Thomas Walle and Kjartan Slette.

In a blog about the scorecard posted on its website, Walle wrote the company "is making the data available to help raise awareness of and reinforce the importance of social distancing." 

Using location data and analytics, a Norwegian company grades areas on how well they are implementing social distancing in the age of COVID-19.

"We also believe it will not only help make sense of what's happening now, but unearth trends that will help project scenarios in the short- and mid-term future."

Unacast's scoreboard, which is updated daily, ranks places based on the change in distance traveled during the days before the pandemic began to the present. The company said it also compares the score with the number of reported cases to show the correlation with changes in behavior over time. Places that saw greater than a 40% decrease got an A and those with less than a 10% decrease earned an F.

The company listed Luce, Livingston, Oakland, Kalamazoo and Ingham counties as the state's top five counties for social distancing. Alcona, Iron, Presque Isle, Mackinac and Hougton are the bottom five of the list.

It also said the top five U.S. locations for social distancing are Washington, D.C., Nevada, New Jersey, Vermont and Massachusetts. The bottom five, according to its data, are New Mexico, Idaho, Hawaii, Montana and Wyoming.

cramirez@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @CharlesERamirez