In a recent segment on CBS Moneywatch, Digital Planet research on the social distance readiness of the United States was discussed. Watch the video segment below to learn more.
In the research mentioned in the segment, Digital Planet scored and arrayed all 50 states and the District of Columbia on their digital readiness, average change in workplace, residential, and transit mobility (compared to baseline values), and average effective reproduction rate of the virus (Rt) from their unique re-opening date through July 12, 2020. Additionally, we incorporated MultiState’s Openness Scores as a proxy for quantifying a state’s degree of openness—i.e., how open is each state for business—as they navigate their way out in varied approaches.
A look at the scatter plot above shows a strong positive correlation between digital readiness and change in workplace, residential, and transit mobility; states possessing a greater capacity to work from home have continued to adopt stricter social distancing—perhaps because they could afford to do so (though this is notably reduced from our first analysis between March-May). As a state’s digital readiness and the capacity to endure longer periods of stay-at-home orders declines, the pressure to re-open mounts in order to alleviate adverse economic impacts.
States in the bottom-left quadrant then, maintain very high openness scores—potentially resulting from a lack of adequate digital infrastructure in place to ensure remote work, amongst other factors. Alaska, Montana, Oklahoma, and Wyoming, for example, opened up very quickly at the end of April; long before it was epidemiologically advisable.