North Carolinians are doing a pretty good job of staying away from each other amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new scorecard. Although a shelter-in-place order is yet to be issued, we’re traveling about 36-percent less than we were before the global health panic took hold. 

Experts say that social distancing combined with vigilant hygiene is key to containing the spread of the virus and saving lives. For many, that’s meant a shift to working from home, ordering take-out from restaurants, and sacrificing any semblance of a social life. 

A recent study from Unacast, a foundation that studies trends in mobility, graded every state in the country based on the change in the average distance traveled compared to before the pandemic, using cell phone GPS data. North Carolina scored a B, with trends showing we’ve been traveling less and less since mid-March when an uptick in coronavirus cases began. 

But the results vary from county to county, While travel has dramatically decreased in Wake County, Polk, Halifax, and Pamlico Counties have seen little change at all. 

Leading the pack nationwide with perfect social distancing scores (meaning a 40 percent or more decrease in travel) are Alaska and Nevada. The District of Columbia, New Jersey, and Rhode Island, which have seen thousands of positive diagnoses, have also received As

As of Monday, at least 477 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in North Carolina, but no one has died. Nationally, nearly 50,000 have become infected and at least 615 have died. 

Check out the results of the study here:


Contact Raleigh news editor Leigh Tauss at 

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