Why do some geographical regions adapt to social distancing and stay-at-home orders better than others? Epidemiologist Nabarun Dasgupta ’00 and his team at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill set out to answer this question by studying location data from 65 million mobile devices to isolate key factors, such as limited access to doctors, public parks and recreation facilities, and food insecurity.
Dasgupta and his team hypothesized that healthier and wealthier counties would be better able to adopt social distancing measures during COVID-19. The study compared variations in social distancing intensity to health care, economic, structural, and demographic factors. Counties with higher social distancing compliance rates tended to have higher incomes, more public spaces for physical activity, better access to food, and more primary care providers than counties with lower compliance.
Read more about Dasgupta’s study here.