Local News

People staying at home as much now as they were during holiday rush, data shows

Posted February 15, 2021 6:00 p.m. EST
Updated February 15, 2021 6:30 p.m. EST

There have been a lot of changes since the first cases of COVID-19 were reported in North Carolina. Remote working has increased as businesses shuttered, and overall in the state, there’s been a 29 percent decrease in travel to an office or workplace.

This data is according to Google which tracks travel trends using location information on cell phones or laptops and compares it to pre-COVID times.

Overall the number of people making retail runs or going out to a restaurant has dropped by 19 percent in the state since last year. Around the holiday season though, most of these metrics were flipped. Shopping and eating out were up by 1 percent while runs to the grocery store, now down 7 percent, were up 15 percent during that time.

The data also shows a 9 percent increase in time people are spending at home this year versus last. When looking back at mobility data from the end of December, that's the same amount it was the week of Christmas, meaning people are out of their homes about as much as they were over that holiday week.

Nationally, that average is higher than in North Carolina, at 12 percent more time at home than pre-pandemic. Wake and Durham counties both show an even higher rate of staying home, out pacing both the national and state averages. But in Cumberland, more people are staying in their homes than a year ago but fewer than rate in the United States and North Carolina.

The most notable difference in data points is related to parks.

Across North Carolina, there's a 6 percent increase in outdoor exploration but in the country, there’s a 24 percent decrease in that figure compared to last year.

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