By now, we've all heard the importance of social distancing in the fight against the spread of COVID-19.
According to the World Health Organization and the CDC, social distancing is currently the most effective way to slow the disease's spread. A recent study, which is updated daily, measures the efficacy of social distancing initiatives at a local level and, on March 24, New York and New Jersey were among the states that received an "A" grade score.
Unacast.com -- a data gathering company -- used the changes in distance traveled from pre-COVID-19 days as a proxy to determine the "Social Distancing" score for each county and allotted the following scores based on the distance traveled:
- A: >40% decrease
- B: 30-40% decrease
- C: 20-30% decrease
- D: 10-20% decrease
- F: <10% decrease or increase
According to Unacast.com, as of March 24, New Jersey was among the top 5 states with the highest scores, with the five top counties with the best social distancing scores being Monmouth, Bergen, Somerset, Atlantic and Morris -- all which received an "A" score. The lowest-scoring counties were Gloucester, Cumberland, Warren, Hunterdon and Salem.
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Overall, New Jersey managed to reduce its distance traveled by 50 percent.
Meanwhile, New York managed to reduce its distance traveled by 48 percent and, thus, obtained an "A" score as well on March 24. New York's top counties with the highest social distancing scores are: New York, Nassau, Westchester, Tompkins and Richmond. It's lowest-scoring counties are: Allegany, Genesee, Cortland, Schoharie and Montgomery.
Connecticut also received an "A" score after registering a decrease of 46 percent in the distance traveled.
The latest published study comes a day before New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the rate of increase in hospitalizations is slowing, suggesting that social distancing is working. Nevertheless, tri-state COVID-19 cases continue to rise.