New Google data shows how Ontarians are moving around differently due to COVID-19

Google is helping governments track any changes to community places like grocery stores and parks. Theses new community mobility reports provide governments aggregated, anonymized insights into Google products like Google Maps. The company says that will help governments make critical decisions to combat COVID-19.

In Ontario, Google’s data shows a 59 per cent reduction in visits to retail and recreational spaces and a 33 per cent reduction in grocery store and pharmacy visits.

These reports chart movement trends over time by geography, across different categories of places such as retail and recreation, groceries and pharmacies, parks, transit stations, workplaces, and residential. Each Community Mobility Report is broken down by location and displays the change in visits to places like grocery stores and parks.

Over 1 billion people worldwide use Google Maps to navigate places they live

“We’ll show trends over several weeks, with the most recent information representing 48-to-72 hours prior. While we display a percentage point increase or decrease in visits, we do not share the absolute number of visits. To protect people’s privacy, no personally identifiable information, like an individual’s location, contacts or movement, is made available at any point, ” said Karen DeSalvo, MD, M.P.H.Chief Health Officer, Google Health.