On March 21, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy issued a stay-at-home order for nearly all of the state's 9 million residents. In the week following, people took the order very seriously, with about 45 percent staying at home.
Analysis by the University of Maryland Transportation Institute indicates that New Jersey had the highest increase in the percentage of people staying at home during the week after a statewide order — a 13 percent increase from the previous week (the next highest were New York, Illinois and California at 11 percent).
The Institute’s ongoing analysis of nationwide travel behavior during the pandemic crisis draws on privacy-protected data from mobile devices, government agencies, health care systems, and other sources. An online interactive analysis tool
provides a wealth of data about the travel impacts of the crisis. It is updated daily.
The analysis indicates that New Jersey residents are practicing a level of social distancing and travel reduction in keeping with the devastating impacts of the pandemic experienced here – second in the nation in COVID-19 fatalities. As of April 14, the state scored 65 on an index of social distancing compared to 52 for the nation overall. The index considers stay-at-home behavior and reduction in trips, among other factors.
The percentage of people in New Jersey staying at home increased from 34 percent in the week prior to the Governor’s announcement to 47 percent in the second week of April. Miles travel per person per day dropped 30 percent to 16.8 miles over the same period.
The three counties hardest hit by the illness – Bergen, Hudson and Essex – have stay-at-home rates over 50 percent. A county-by-county breakdown is compiled here
The Maryland researchers find that nationwide there has been a lack of progress in getting more people to comply with social distancing and reduced travel.. A press release
notes: “The percentage of people staying home nationwide increased from 20 percent to 35 percent at the onset of COVID-19 in mid-March but then stagnated at 35 percent for three weeks, despite skyrocketing new COVID-19 cases.”