Statewide COVID-19 Stay-At-Home Orders and Population Mobility in the United States

World Medical & Health Policy 12 (4), 347-356 (2020)

Posted: 9 Feb 2021 Last revised: 19 Feb 2021

See all articles by Grant Jacobsen

Grant Jacobsen

University of Oregon - School of Planning, Public Policy, and Management

Kathryn H. Jacobsen

George Mason University

Date Written: April 15, 2020

Abstract

Many jurisdictions enacted stay-at-home orders (also called shelter-in-place orders, safer-at-home orders, or lockdowns) when SARS-CoV-2 began spreading in the United States. Based on Google mobility data, every state had substantially fewer visits to transit stations, retail and recreation facilities, workplaces, grocery stores, and pharmacies by the end of March 2020 than in the previous two months. The mean decrease in visitation rates across destination categories was about 30% in states without stay-at-home orders and 40% in states with stay-at-home orders. Similarly, there were fewer routing requests received by Apple in large cities for public transportation, walking, and driving, with a 10 percentage point greater mean reduction in metropolitan areas under statewide stay-at-home orders. The pandemic led to large decreases in mobility even in states without legal restrictions on travel, but statewide orders were effective public health policy tools for reducing human movement below the level achieved through voluntary behavior change.

Keywords: COVID-19, stay-at-home orders, shelter-in-place orders, safer-at-home orders, lockdowns, mobility

Suggested Citation

Jacobsen, Grant and Jacobsen, Kathryn H., Statewide COVID-19 Stay-At-Home Orders and Population Mobility in the United States (April 15, 2020). World Medical & Health Policy 12 (4), 347-356 (2020), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3780735 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3780735

Grant Jacobsen (Contact Author)

University of Oregon - School of Planning, Public Policy, and Management ( email )

1280 University of Oregon
Eugene, OR 97403
United States

Kathryn H. Jacobsen

George Mason University ( email )

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States

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