June 26, 2020 -- Data from people’s personal cell phones shows that Americans are moving around at almost the same levels as before the pandemic, according to researchers at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

The data, which is anonymized, is collected as part of the COVID-19 Mobility Data Network. The network is run by infectious disease epidemiologists at universities across the world who work with technology companies to aggregate mobility data.

“Mobility data suggest people are moving around in nearly normal ways,” though it varies by region, Caroline Buckee, an epidemiologist at Harvard, told The Harvard Gazette.

“That started several weeks ago,” she said. “It foreshadows the uptick in cases that we’re seeing in many parts of the country, for sure.”

Although the data gives a real-time view about movement, it can’t show behavior such as social distancing, handwashing practices or mask wearing, she added. The data also can’t show virus transmission.

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