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Google Phone Data Shows State Residents Still Avoiding These Public Places

April 29, 2021

Connecticut appears to be in a state of semi-euphoria with one of the nation’s highest rates of COVID-19 vaccination amid an accelerated reopening plan by Gov. Ned Lamont. But the all-knowing Google suggests residents remain hesitant to visit shopping centers, grocery stores, restaurants and even outdoor spaces like parks and beaches.

More people, in fact, remained home than during a pre-COVID baseline period, according to Google’s latest COVID-19 Community Mobility Report that used location data tracking people’s movements to assess state and local adherence to social-distancing measures.

The report, dated April 25, reviews information from Google Maps and other sources.

“We have to look at the positives here,” says Dr. Ajay Kumar, Hartford HealthCare’s Chief Clinical Officer. “We’ve come a long way from the beginning, how things are improving and how things have changed.”

Maybe people need a little more time to regain full confidence in crowded public spaces.

Here are the latest results compared with the state’s pre-COVID baseline using the median value for the five-week period from Jan 3–Feb 6, 2020:

  • Residential: up 5 percent.
  • Workplace: down 13 percent.
  • Transit stations: down 18 percent.
  • Parks: down 4 percent.
  • Grocery and pharmacy: down 11 percent.
  • Retail and recreation (includes restaurants, shopping centers, theme parks, libraries and movie theaters): down 10 percent.

Google’s data dump also breaks down the state by county. People in Fairfield County (up 22 percent) and Litchfield County (up 17 percent) were getting some fresh air and exercise in local parks, but New London County (down 18 percent) and New Haven County (down 13 percent) were less likely.

Tolland County (up 19 percent) residents were returning to public transportation, but Hartford’s County’s public transit was down 34 percent.

To view the entire Connecticut report, click here.