ITHACA, N.Y. –– Tech company Unacast has compiled phone data from Americans in order to track how seriously they’re taking social distancing regulations. With this data Unacast has created a ‘Social Distancing Scoreboard’ –– on which Tompkins County ranks highest for counties in Central New York.

Tompkins received an A- overall ranking. Scores are based off cell phone data, and reflects reduction in distance traveled, in addition to reduction in visits to non-essential venues compared to averages pre-covid.

The A- ranking combines a 55 – 70% Decrease in Average Mobility (Based on Distance Traveled) and Greater than 70% Decrease in Non-Essential Visits. No other counties in Central New York received a score within the ‘A’ range.

The county is continuing to encourage the community to stay home, and practice good social distancing in order to slow the spread of coronavirus.

“In order to stop the spread of COVID-19 in Tompkins County we need everyone to continue to stay home unless absolutely necessary, such as medical needs, getting groceries, or if they are an essential worker. We have seen a slowdown in new positive cases and I want to thank the community for doing their part to stay home and practice social distancing if they must go out. If we continue on this path together we can reduce the impact of COVID-19 on Tompkins County,” said Frank Kruppa, Tompkins County Public Health Director.

The county has cited messaging efforts for their positive rating, telling CNY Central they send out about 15 messages a day reminding people to practice social distancing –– via social media, their website and through local media.

Tompkins County Legislature Chair Leslyn McBean-Clairborne recently sent out a recorded message encouraging social distancing sent via the County’s SwiftReach system.

As a reminder the county guidelines are as follows:

  • Stay home and ask all members of your household to stay home. See your household as a unit: if one person is exposed, everyone in your household is at risk.
  • Only go out in public for essential reasons, such as shopping for food or picking up medicines.

When in public

  • Keep 6 feet distance between yourself and others. It is strongly recommended that you wear a cloth face covering.
  • Use hand sanitizer when you enter a store and when you exit, or wear gloves. If you wear gloves, wash or sanitize your hands immediately after you remove your gloves.
  • Minimize in-person contact.

In your neighborhood

  • Do not gather in groups outside of your home for any recreation or to socialize.
  • Recreation should be to non-contact activities. Do not start or take part in activities that put you in close contact with people. If you see close contact activities, ask those involved to stop.
  • After being outside, wash your hands well and often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

Higher risk individuals

  • Higher risk individuals include older adults (age 60+), those who are immune-compromised, or have a chronic medical condition, especially heart disease, lung disease, and diabetes,
  • Higher risk individuals should avoid any in-person contact with others.

Social Distancing does not mean emotional distancing or isolation. Check on friends, coworkers, neighbors through phone and text.

Anyone who may have been exposed to the coronavirus, and who are at risk for coming down with COVID-19 should consider being tested and going into self-quarantine for 14 days.

Anna Lamb

Anna Lamb is a reporter for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at alamb@ithacavoice.com