The outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19) across the globe has changed virtually everything in our day-to-day lives.

One of the biggest adjustments impacting all of us is the new reality of 'social distancing' and all of the restrictions that come with taking yourself out of the normal situations that were all a part of living before this pandemic hit.

As we've seen in stories from around the world, some people and some places have been doing a much better job at creating that social buffer than others, and now one website is shining a light on that progress.

Unacast.com has created a  'Social Distancing Scoreboard' which is giving letter grades to states and counties across America reflecting how good, or bad, they've been at establishing this new norm.

The three biggest factors that are driving the numbers are:

  • The switch from working in an office to working from home
  • The elimination of non-essential trips outside of the home
  • The cancellation of all travels and vacations

Based on those metrics, South Dakota is currently receiving a 'B' grade on the scoreboard. Since the first cases of COVID-19 were reported in the state on March 11, travel by South Dakotans is down 31 percent. Those numbers are based on what the website calls the change in average distance traveled.

Some places in the state are doing a much better job of 'social distancing' than others.

BEST SOUTH DAKOTA SOCIAL DISTANCING COUNTIES (Average distance traveled since 3/11/20)

  • Ziebach -63%
  • Jerauld -60%
  • Marshall -59%
  • Lake -57%
  • Hyde -55%

On the last report, Minnehaha County was in the 'A' category with travel down 40 percent.

WORST SOUTH DAKOTA SOCIAL DISTANCING COUNTIES (Average distance traveled since 3/11/20)

  • Lyman +33%
  • McCook +21%
  • Butte +7%
  • Aurora +4%
  • Brule -5%

Nationally, Washington DC is the gold standard with a 60 percent decrease in distance traveled, followed by Alaska, Nevada, New Jersey, and Rhode Island.

Only one state is currently getting an 'F' on the social distancing scoreboard. The average distance traveled in Wyoming is actually up 24 percent since the COVID-19 outbreak.

Two other states are getting 'D' grades - Idaho and Montana.


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