Data shows Wyoming gets solid 'F' for social distancing in COVID-19 era - Casper, WY Oil City News
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Data shows Wyoming gets solid ‘F’ for social distancing in COVID-19 era

A screenshot from Unacast’s website shows the data firm’s interactive social distancing map. (Courtesy Unacast)

CASPER, Wyo. – A data firm has built an interactive map using data and statistics it has gathered to score states and counties on social distancing practices.

The data company Unacast has developed a pro-bono Social Distancing Scoreboard to help “governments, institutions, and organizations fighting the virus to understand efficacy of social distancing initiatives,” according to its website.

As of March 22, Wyoming is the only state in the nation to receive an ‘F’ for social distancing.

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As for Wyoming’s neighbors, Montana and Idaho received D’s, Utah and Nebraska got C’s, and Colorado received a B.

Broken down by counties, Teton, Park, Washakie and Goshen received A’s, Lincoln County got a B, Natrona County and Campbell County received D’s, Fremont county a C, and the rest F’s.

According to Unacast, the map is built with the firm’s programming using cellphone positioning data combined with reported cases. Two important metrics the firm used were whether people were sheltering in place, and measuring the distance when they did travel.

The map is being adjusted and metrics tweaked as more data comes in, they said.

The metrics could also be flawed for rural states such as Wyoming, considering many drive long distances just to purchase essentials. Oil City News has reached out to Unacast for more details and any response will be added to this story.

When Wyoming’s map was last updated on the 22nd, there were just 22 reported positive cases of COVID-19. As of Wednesday, March 25, there are 40 confirmed cases.

The Washington Post, which first reported on Unacast’s map, said the data is tracked by certain apps in users phones. Unacast declined to tell the Post which apps it was using. Other technology firms such as Google and Facebook regularly use apps to track habits and travel of smartphone users.

The Post reports that the federal government is in talks with Google, Facebook and other tech firms to use the anonymous location data they gather to help combat coronavirus.

The full explanation on how Unacast came up with their metrics can be read here.

The Latest Statistics from the Wyoming Department of Health:

What to do if you are feeling sick: In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Casper-Natrona County Health Department says that people who are feeling sick or exhibiting symptoms should contact their primary physician.

If you do not have a primary care provider, and live in Natrona County, please contact the COVID-19 hotline, operated by the Casper-Natrona County Department of Health. The line is open Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm 577-9892. Hotline services are intended for Natrona County residents and may not be able to provide specific information to persons calling from out of county.

Officials ask that you please do not self-report to the Emergency Room. Persons experiencing problems breathing should call 9-11.

For general inquiries and non-symptom related questions about COVID-19, please contact the Casper-Natrona County Health Department via email:

  • Practice Social Distancing by putting distance between yourself and other people. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home if you’re sick
  • Cover coughs and sneezes. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
  • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.

A list of area closures attributed to COVID-19 are available here.