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The Social Distancing Project
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This project promotes the progress of science and public health by using information technology to collect information about how people move through cities and use public spaces when they are supposed to be social distancing. Social distancing policy is intended to slow the spread of infectious diseases such as COVID-19.


The effectiveness of social distancing in preventing disease depends on whether and how people follow these orders. By collecting video of city sidewalks and public spaces, we can understand how people are interpreting and responding to social distance orders, and, later, we can show how these behaviors affect health outcomes neighborhood by neighborhood.


As the coronavirus spreads to other locales, evidence about how specific behaviors correlate with disease spread will encourage public compliance. For example, it is believed that it is safe to exercise outdoors, as long as people are not running to close with one another. Running and hiking are permitted; however, ``playing basketball with five other people'' or ``laying in a park with 10 other people and sharing a beer'' is not.


The data collected in this project will aid in establishing clearer, evidence-backed guidance for what safe and dangerous activities might be. 

What is the social distancing project all about?

Tracking Urban Mobility under Social Distancing Policy

Quick-response research to monitor the social response to the COVID-19 epidemic

Videography: Gil Ayalon
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