Michigan receives ‘D-’ for social distancing efforts from national ‘scoreboard’

The state previously received an "A" for social distancing back in March

Unacast's "social distancing scoreboard" for the entire United States as of Wednesday, May 13. (Unacast)

Michiganders’ efforts to socially distance amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic have significantly decreased since March.

According to Unacast’s “social distancing scoreboard” Michigan has been graded a “D-” as of Wednesday.

The state had previously received an "A" back in March, around the time the initial stay-at-home order was issued. At that time, Michigan had among the strictest social distancing measures in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

MORE: Coronavirus in Michigan: A timeline of closures, event bans, stay-at-home orders

Now it appears that Michigan residents have eased up on their social distancing practices over the last month.

Unacast scores states’ social distancing behaviors based on “human mobility data” -- or the amount of travel residents are doing amid the pandemic compared to the amount of travel before the pandemic. The assumption is that people who are practicing social distancing are not traveling, so more travelers means less social distancing is taking place.

Counties that received exceptional grades in March -- Livingston, Oakland, Ingham, Kalamazoo -- are now being scored as “Ds” and “Fs”. Few counties are receiving “Cs" and Bs", and only two counties (in the U.P.) have received an “A-”.

All counties in the southern half of the lower peninsula have been scored as “Ds” and “Fs” as of Wednesday.

Social distancing measures have been proven to decrease the spread of COVID-19 among communities. However, Michigan’s recent decrease in the rate of growth of COVID-19 cases and deaths might be causing residents to believe the worst of the pandemic is over for the state.

COVID-19 DATA: Tracking cases, deaths and more in Michigan

As parts of the state begin to reopen, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has warned that relaxing social distancing measures too early could lead to a “second wave” of COVID-19 for the state.

“I want to be very clear: COVID-19 is still present in Michigan. It is present in 79 out of the 83 counties," Whitmer said in a press conference last week. "And that’s why it’s terribly important that we not let our guard down now -- that we consider this a very real threat, because it is.”

Unacast’s data below shows that the majority of states in the U.S. are currently receiving "D" and "F" grades.

Unacast's grades for states' social distancing efforts from their "social distancing scoreboard" as of May 13. (Unacast)

Click here to check out Unacast’s “social distancing scoreboard”.

Read our latest news on the COVID-19 pandemic here.

About the Author:

Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.