Coronavirus

Most northern counties get low grade in social distancing

As a public service, Shaw Media will provide open access to information related to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) emergency. Sign up for the newsletter here

Northern Illinois counties still aren’t doing enough social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19, according to tracked GPS data.

Unacast, a company that collects and analyzes phone GPS location data, launched a “Social Distancing Scoreboard” last month that grades counties on average distance traveled by monitoring decreases in that average travel. Illinois as a whole received a C grade.

In the past week, after working with public health officials and epidemiologists, Unacast updated its grading system.

“In our initial phase, we used the U.S. county with the strongest reduction in distance traveled – our original metric – as a baseline for setting the grading system,” Madeline Ngo, head of Unacast product and insights, said in a news release. “However, this soon proved to be problematic as travel distances were still decreasing in the U.S. and experts argued that more reductions were needed.”

Unacast said it looked to Italy, which instituted a national lockdown in order to stop the COVID-19 spread, as its new inspiration for the scorecard.

“In Italy, the range of decrease in travel is 70% to 80%,” the company wrote. “We thus chose 70% reduction in distance traveled as a model for what can be expected under a total shutdown. As of our recalibration, no U.S. state has yet achieved the new cut-off, but neither has any state chosen to go into a full quarantine as Italy.”

With stricter guidelines in place, counties need to decrease their travel by more than 70% to get an A from Unacast. The former guideline to get an A was to see a decrease of 40% or more.

Unacast social distancing grades by county as of Tuesday morning:

Cook County: Grade B-, 60-75% decrease in nonessential visits, 40-55% decrease in average mobility

DuPage County: Grade B-, 60-75% decrease in nonessential visits, 40-55% decrease in average mobility

Kane County: Grade C, 60-65% decrease in nonessential visits, 40-55% decrease in average mobility

Lake County: Grade C, 60-65% decrease in nonessential visits, 40-55% decrease in average mobility

McHenry County: Grade C-, 55-60% decrease in nonessential visits, 40-55% decrease in average mobility

Carroll County: Grade D, 25-40% decrease in average mobility

Kendall County: Grade D, Less than 55% decrease in nonessential visits, 40-55% decrease in average mobility

Will County: Grade D, 55-60% decrease in nonessential visits, 25-40% decrease in average mobility

Bureau County: Grade D-, 55-60% decrease in nonessential visits, less than 25% decrease in average mobility

DeKalb County: Grade D-, Less than 55% decrease in nonessential visits, 25-40% decrease in average mobility

Grundy County: Grade D-, Less than 55% decrease in nonessential visits, 25-40% decrease in average mobility

Whiteside County: Grade D-, Less than 55% decrease in nonessential visits, 25-40% decrease in average mobility

La Salle County: Grade F, Less than 55% decrease in nonessential visits, less than 25% decrease in average mobility

Lee County: Grade F, Less than 55% decrease in nonessential visits, less than 25% decrease in average mobility

Ogle County: Grade F, Less than 55% decrease in nonessential visits

Loading more

Digital Access

Digital Access
Access nwherald.com and all Shaw Media Illinois content from all your digital devices and receive breaking news and updates from around the area.

Home Delivery

Home Delivery
Local news, prep sports, Chicago sports, local and regional entertainment, business, home and lifestyle, food, classified and more! News you use every day! Daily, weekend and Sunday packages.

Text Alerts

Text Alerts
Stay connected to us wherever you are! Get breaking news updates along with other area information sent to you as a text message to your wireless device.

Email Newsletters

Email Newsletters
We'll deliver news & updates to your inbox. Plan your weekend and catch up on the news with our newsletters.