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COVID-19 related social distancing measures and reduction in city mobility

By Amyn A Malik, Chandra Couzens, Saad B Omer

Posted 06 Apr 2020
medRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.03.30.20048090

In the absence of any pharmacological intervention, one approach to slowing the COVID-19 pandemic is reducing the contact rate in the population through social distancing. Governments the world over have instituted different measures to increase social distancing but information on their effectiveness in reducing mobility is lacking. We analyzed the mobility data from 41 cities to look at the effect of these interventions. The median mobility across cities on March 2, 2020 was 100% (IQR: 94%, 107%), which decreased to a median of 10% (IQR: 7%, 17%) on March 26, 2020. We found that the mobility decreased on average by 3.4% (95%CI: 3.3%, 3.6%) per day from March 2 through March 26. Social distancing measures decreased the mobility by an additional 23% (95%CI: 20%, 27%). Our study provides initial evidence for the reduction in mobility in cities instituting social distancing measures.

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