Leaders point to social distancing data, ask for more compliance

Social Distancing Analytics

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Leaders are using new analytics tools to gauge residents’ compliance with state and city mandates. Along with existing modeling, they say they now have a clearer picture of where the state stands and what more must be done to stop the spread.

Recent modeling for Region One shows a variety of scenarios for the state, depending on different levels of public cooperation to stop the spread of COVID-19.

“We have indications that are giving us some hope, a glimmer of hope. It’s still early but we do know the amount of compliance we’re getting is not enough in order to have the best possible outcome,” Governor John Bel Edwards said.

Edwards makes another plea for people to heed mandates, pointing to data surrounding social distancing.

“Louisiana and our people started to take this seriously around the time of the end of March, which is when I announced an emergency declaration,” the Governor said. “We know then the degree in which activity was reduced that the mitigation measures were working and that the spread of the disease was actually slowed.”

Both Edwards and New Orleans Mayor Latoya Cantrell cited Google's Community Mobility Reports to emphasize the effectiveness of the mandates.

“The social distancing, it is working. We need to continue to stay home. Continue to stay home,” Cantrell said.

The free site uses Google Maps to track the places people go. Another social distancing dashboard, "Unacast", assigns letter grades based on aggregated cell phone data.

Edwards says this site shows there a still a lot of Louisianans who aren't complying.

“Perhaps it is because, for some reason, we have not, I have not impressed upon all of our citizens the consequences, the dark consequences of not staying at home,” Edwards said.

Louisiana received a "D" grade, while Orleans Parish shows well above average compliance. Jefferson Parish slipped a letter grade since the Governor's presentation, Friday, but leaders insist it will take everyone's cooperation to save the state.

"(The virus) is in control, not human beings. And so we cannot defy the laws of nature and expect to survive," Cantrell said.

“The folks should feel empowered. They should feel empowered because the virus is spread person to person and all it’s going to take now to lower the curve is for people to stay home and distance themselves from other people,” State Health Officer Joseph Kanter, M.D. said.

For a closer look at social distancing compliance in your area, click here for Google’s Community Mobility Reports and here if you want to see Unacast’s.

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