Charleston Area Change in Mobility

Graph plotting change in mobility of Tri-County citizens over time, based on cell phone tracking.

What Do These Graph Show?

As you are probably aware, public health experts have been urging people to practice social distancing in order to “flatten the curve,” or in other words to slow the growth of transmission of the virus. While this may not reduce the total number of people who become infected, it does mean fewer people will become infected at one time. This is incredibly important because we do not want to overwhelm the healthcare system and use up limited resources such as ICU beds and ventilators all at once.

Location analysis companies such as Cuebiq are tracking approximately 15 million cellphone users in the U.S. and reporting on changes in median distance traveled by people in different areas nationwide from this cellphone data. We have plotted this mobility data for the Charleston area over time, so you can see how well people have been practicing social distancing and limiting their movement. Shown is a  graph produced by a company called Descartes that uses data from CUEBIQ and other sources, but that focuses only on the longest trip taken per day. Also shown is a composite measure generated by the University of Maryland that also uses a variety of mobility data, and generates a score for different areas in the country. Lower values in this chart indicate a reduction in mobility and greater social distancing.

This graph shows the effects of social distancing in the Charleston area in relation to other communities.