Once among the best, Minnesota now gets a 'D' grade for social distancing - Bring Me The News

Once among the best, Minnesota now gets a 'D' grade for social distancing

To be fair, most other states are doing badly too.
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Data that tracks cellphone movements anonymously appears to affirm the anecdotal evidence that Minnesotans aren't social distancing as much as they were.

Around six weeks ago, Minnesota was among the few states with an "A" grade for social distancing, with Unacast finding substantial drops in travel in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic's outbreak.

Fast-forward to this week, and Minnesota has dropped to a "D" grade, with Unacast finding that Minnesotans' travel has only dropped by 25-40 percent statewide, compared to just over 45 percent in March.

The same situation is apparent across the U.S., with the majority of states getting a "D" grade or lower (the national average is D-), with only a handful – including both Dakotas – reducing their travel enough to warrant a grade at the "C" level.

The Unacast data now also includes metrics for "non-essential" travel – that is, travel to restaurants, non-essential retail stores including electronics and office supply, as well as car dealerships and hotels.

Minnesota got an "F" grade for "non-essential travel" as of May 5.

That said, while nobody likes a "D" grade, it doesn't necessarily mean the majority of Minnesotans are being reckless with the virus around.

The data for the state shows that travel has inched up this past week, which is probably not surprising given that the past week has since restrictions loosened on retail businesses to allow more curbside pick-up services.

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A week before that, most non-customer-facing commercial and industrial businesses were allowed to re-open, no doubt contributing to Minnesota's overall travel, so the situation now compared to March is markedly different, with state officials satisfied they're able to slowly reopen the state now that its health system has more capacity.

Nonetheless, there are some counties that are faring better than others in terms of travel.

The best performing counties in the state, getting "B" grade are Cook, Koochiching, Pipestone and Redwood Counties.

The worst performers include the Twin Cities metro counties of Washington, Carver, Scott, Anoka and Dakota, which get "F" grades after their travel reduced by less than 25 percent.

Hennepin County got a C- grade.

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