Saturday, March 6, 2021
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Friday, December 11, 2020
Spying on You: Cell Phone Tracking COVID Obedience
By UHERO @ 5:32 PM :: 1178 Views :: Hawaii Statistics, COVID-19

Are Hawai’i Residents Staying at Home?

by Justin Tyndall and Joshua Hu, UHERO, Dec 9, 2020

Staying at home and avoiding crowded spaces is an important way for residents to help contain the spread of COVID-19. Measuring the ability and willingness of Hawai’i’s residents to stay at home is difficult. Having more information on resident movements can help gauge the frequency of in-person interactions and the probability of future virus spread.

UHERO is releasing a new dashboard that makes use of detailed data on the movements of people in Hawai’i. The data come from the firm Safegraph, which collects cellular location data from the apps that run in the background of many people’s smartphones. The data are anonymous and represent a selective sample of the population. (Further details regarding the sample and Safegraph’s methodology can be found here). The data can be used to provide a fairly detailed picture of people’s movement around Hawai’i during 2020.

The figure below shows the share of smartphones in Hawai’i that did not leave their user’s home on a particular day. The data exclude tourists. If we assume people normally carry their smartphones with them, the data can approximate the share of people who are staying home all day. Prior to the pandemic, about 20% of people stayed entirely at home on a given day. This share rose sharply in March and April, peaking at 42%. The data show another peak in August, corresponding to the height of COVID infections in the state. Since then, the share of people staying at home has fallen again and is now hovering around 32%.

Because the data are broken down by location, we can provide some information on how rates of staying at home are varying across the state. Residents of O’ahu have stayed home at slightly higher rates than residents of the neighbor islands. We can also explore variation across neighborhoods. For example, stay at home rates for residents living around Waikīkī have recently fallen to 25%, below the state level of 32%. The dashboard can be used to explore the data across islands, zip codes and census tracts. Generally, we did not find huge differences in the rates across neighborhoods. In many ways the effects of the pandemic have been felt differently in rich and poor areas, but we did not find an apparent correlation between the average income within a neighborhood and the stay at home rate for that area.

Mapping Safegraph mobility data on Oahu

Given concerns with specific locations becoming the center of outbreaks, we have also begun tracking the amount of foot traffic (proxied by the number of smartphones) at various types of locations. The data can be explored on the new dashboard. For example, retail stores in Hawai’i have recently experienced 60% of the foot traffic that was typical before the pandemic, while foot traffic in hotels is down to 30% of the pre-pandemic level. More location types are available on the dashboard.

The underlying data are released regularly, with a small lag, and we will continually update the data to provide recent information on movement in the state. As we enter the holiday season many residents may face additional desires to travel and gather. At this point, we have data up until Thanksgiving Day, and the relevant data do not show a significant change in the number of people staying at home, suggesting that many may have heeded public health warnings to avoid Thanksgiving gatherings. 

Monitoring the dashboard and the underlying data for changes in human mobility could be predictive of future virus spread. Hawai’i has managed to escape the worst of the virus when compared to other states. Our ability to maintain physical distance from one another will be important in determining the virus’s impacts in the coming months.

HNN: Does staying at home help stop coronavirus spread? UHERO set out to find out.

Links

TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote

2aHawaii

808 Silent Majority

ACA Signups Hawaii

ALEC

Alliance Defending Freedom

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

American Council of Trustees and Alumni

AntiPlanner

Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Astronomy Hawaii

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii

Blaisdell Memorial Project

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

ChinaTownWatch.com

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

Coffee Break

DeedySupport.com

DVids Hawaii

E Hana Kakou Kelii Akina

FIRE

Fix Oahu!

Follow the Money Hawaii

Frank in Hawaii

Front Page Magazine

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Habele.org

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Credit Union Watch

Hawaii Crop Improvement Association

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Advocates

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii Future Project

Hawaii Gathering of Eagles

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Life Alliance

Hawaii March for Life

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together

Heritage Foundation

HIEC.Coop

HiFiCo

Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

I Vote Hawaii

If Hawaii News

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

Iowa Meets Maui

Jackson v Abercrombie

Jihad Watch

July 4 in Hawaii

Kahle v New Hope

Kakaako Cares

Kau TEA Party

Kauai Co GOP

Keep Hawaii's Heroes

KeyWiki

Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Malulani Foundation

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

Mauna Kea Recreational Users Group

MentalIllnessPolicy.org

Middle East Forum--The Legal Project

Mililani Conservatives for Change

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

Muslim Brotherhood in America

NAMI Hawaii

NARTH

Natatorium.org

National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

National Wind Watch

New Hawaiian

New Zeal

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Northwest Economic Policy Seminar

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

Now What I Really Think

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport

ObamaCare Abortion Hawaii

Obookiah

OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

OurFutureHawaii.com

Pacific Aviation Museum

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii

P.U.E.O.

RailRipoff.com

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Republican Party -- Hawaii State

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

Save Dillingham Airfield

School Choice in Hawaii

SenatorFong.com

Sink the Jones Act

Statehood for Guam

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

UCC Truths

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

VAREP Honolulu

Waagey.org

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii

Yes2TMT