‘Heat map’ reveals UK locations flouting social distancing rules
Image credit: PA
People in Middlesbrough are most likely to ignore the ‘stay at home’ rules designed to curb the spread of Covid-19, according to the survey data collected by a health app.
According to the Evergreen Health app, which allows users to monitor their health, wellbeing and fitness, as of April 2, around 25 per cent of survey respondents from Middlesbrough said they are not staying indoors, followed by 18.2 per cent in North Hertfordshire and 17.7 per cent of people in Burnley.
More than 26,700 Evergreen Health users responded to a survey on their behaviour during the pandemic to help the app build a 'heat map' of how closely different parts of the UK are sticking to the stay-at-home rules. The data collected excludes key workers.
The app found that the best-performing areas were the people of Ryedale, North Yorkshire, at 98.2 per cent; Wandsworth in southwest London and Adur in West Sussex, both on 97.5 per cent, followed by Richmond-upon-Thames and Powys, Wales, at 97.1 per cent.
As part of the survey, the respondents were also asked about symptoms of Covid-19, such as whether they have a dry cough or a temperature and if they are self-isolating, as well as any details about recovery.
The anonymised data is currently being shared with the NHS and data scientists at the universities of Liverpool and Manchester to help them analyse the progress of the pandemic.
The app’s developers said for an area of the country to appear on the map, it had to have enough people in the sample sizes for the percentages quoted to be statistically significant.
App users are also sent guidance to protect themselves during the crisis, with tailored advice from the NHS to those deemed to be at the greatest risk of complications from the virus.
“Respondents are supporting a better understanding of the local experience of Covid-19 disease through sharing their data, which will be incredibly useful to national and local planning,” said Dr Ian Hall, from the University of Manchester.
The app was launched in 2015 in partnership with the NHS. It allowed users to have access to all their health records, as well as inputting their own fitness and wellbeing data, such that all the information was in one place. The app now has over 750,000 users.
Dr Hall said: “This is an exciting emerging data stream and I look forward to helping interpret the data, with colleagues in Manchester and Liverpool, as it provides situational awareness to users and policymakers alike.”
This weekend, several local councils made the decision to close parks and other public spaces when thousands of people turned out to enjoy the sunshine and warmer weather.
Meanwhile, in Hertfordshire, Watford Police revealed some of the ridiculous reasons people gave them for ignoring lockdown rules, according to the Hertfordshire Mercury.
In a Facebook post, the police reported some of the reasons for people’s outings included such memorable statements as: “I don’t care if I get sick or spread it, that’s not my problem” and “I’m bored at home.”
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