Statewide emergency declarations paired with the news of COVID-19 infections and fatalities and school closures were motivation for people to stay home even before states issued official shelter-in-place orders.
TUESDAY, May 12, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Most Americans voluntarily stayed at home during the early days of the COVID-19 tsunami, before states began issuing official "shelter-in-place" orders, new research indicates.
Why? Because statewide emergency declarations coupled with news -- of first infections, first fatalities and school closures -- were motivation enough to get folks to stay home. This was more motivating than quarantine mandates imposed weeks later, say investigators.
The findings follow a review of U.S. cellphone signal patterns from early March through much of April. The data generated by more than 20 million smartphones a day across all 50 states illustrated how much or how little users were moving about on a daily basis. That information was then stacked up against a timeline of state and local policy decisions.