United States citizens took to the road to travel for the 4th of July weekend, the surging coronavirus not deterring them, CNN reported, citing cell phone data.
Hospitalizations from the highly infectious virus have risen in around a dozen states since Memorial Day weekend, CNN wrote.
Cuebiq, a private company contracted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to track general movement in the country, gets the data when people opt into location tracking from various mobile apps. There are 15 million phones around the U.S. that Cuebiq has access to, CNN reported.
Analysts of the cell phone data pointed to mobility as a leading factor in the coronavirus’ continuing prolific transmission, with more people overall traveling during the 4th of July holiday as opposed to the Memorial Day holiday in May.
Cuebiq's data focused on the visitor totals to and from 10 metro area hotspots, chronicled from a week before July 4, 2020, according to CNN, including the Houston; Austin, Texas; Phoenix; Dallas; San Antonio; Orlando; Tampa, Florida; Charleston, South Carolina; Miami; and Atlanta areas, ranked by the number of positive coronavirus tests a week before the holiday.
In response to the virus, some state leaders moved to cancel events that would have been staples in normal times, such as California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s urging of local governments to put a stop to the usual firework displays. In Miami, beaches and parks were closed over the holiday weekend to deter the usual mass gatherings. Tubing was canceled in some Texas rivers, and in South Carolina, some beaches did away with firework shows as well.
But Dr. Joshua Barocas, an infectious disease physician at Boston Medical Center, said the conditions had “set up a perfect storm: the combination of travel, the combination of reopening — perhaps in some cases, too early," CNN reported.
PYMNTS reported recently that the coronavirus pandemic would not cancel summer vacations — rather, it would inspire many to take to outdoors retreats like beaches and parks in lieu of the usual tourist destinations.