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How much is Utah still going out? Google knows.

Posted at 6:37 PM, Apr 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-03 20:55:11-04

Sometimes Big Brother provides really interesting information.

So Google does watch us if we tell them they have our permission to use the location data on our phones. They say it’s all “anonymized” (was that a word before the internet?) so they’re not watching “you” per se. It’s more like they’re watching “y’all.”

Anyway. During the COVID-19 pandemic, that information is telling us how we’re doing at staying at home.

Utahns overall have reduced their activity. We are spending 41 percent less time on retail and recreation, 14 percent less time at the grocery store, 44 percent less at transit stations, 40 percent less at work.

We are spending 10 percent more time at home and 26 percent more at parks.

Compared with nearby states:

  • Wyoming has changed habits far less.
  • Arizona has adjusted slightly less.
  • Idaho's statistics are close to identical.
  • Coloradans and Nevadans have modified their activity far more.

Interesting individual numbers in Utah:

  • Weber and Cache counties went to parks 76% and 66% more respectively.
  • Millard and San Juan counties spent, respectively, 72% and 60% more time at grocery stores and pharmacies.
  • Summit County reduced their activities dramatically across the board, most notably with 76% less time at workplaces.

Here’s the site with all of the results, if my choice of individual statistics in the story above doesn’t satisfy you’re itch for data:

Aside from Google’s info, the major trend I noticed in today’s Utah statistics is a continued increase in confirmed cases in Utah County. It’s Utah’s second biggest county by population but has had relatively few cases. That appears to be changing. In this chart I compare it to Davis County, Utah’s third biggest by population.