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Smartphone data shows Utahns are leaving home more

Google and Facebook monitor movement
Posted at 6:19 PM, May 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-08 20:19:19-04

SALT LAKE CITY — We Utahns are getting out far less than we used to, but a fair amount more than the national average as much of the nation enters a new phase of “reopening.”

Google analytics data shows Salt Lake County began to return to work between late March and early May. On March 29, they observed a 38 percent drop in trips to work before a pre-pandemic baseline. On May 2, the drop was at 27 percent.

Similarly, trips to the store went from 46 percent reduction on March 29 to a 38 percent reduction on May 2.

Facebook is also providing data on mobility, focusing specifically on the percentage of people staying at home throughout each day.

Looking at three weekdays, one each in early March, April, and then the latest data from May 5, we saw that residents of the Wasatch Front and back stayed home significantly more from March to April, but by May 5 they started venturing out again. The following charts show the change: