Google data show Metro Cebu residents slowly returning to work, going to beaches, parks

Metro Cebu residents continue to slowly return to their workplaces. They have also been heading to beaches, parks, and plazas, according to mobility data tracked by Google.

But overall, data Google gathered from Metro Cebu phone users of Google Maps showed that visits to places outside the home were still way below the baseline in January 2020. “The baseline is the median value, for the corresponding day of the week, during the 5-week period Jan 3–Feb 6, 2020,” Google said.

The numbers published by Google are percentages compared to the baseline.

“We calculate these changes using the same kind of aggregated and anonymized data used to show popular times for places in Google Maps.” Google said.

(Note from editors: we are embedding in this article both the interactive and still image version of the graph in case the interactive one does not load in your device or app.)

Metro Cebu mobility data from Google
Metro Cebu mobility data gathered by Google.

The latest data compiled by Google show that Metro Cebu mobility trends for Workplaces on November 10 was 42% down compared to the baseline. Visits to Parks, which cover locations such as beaches, plazas, public gardens, were 36% down from the baseline.

Visits to retail and recreation areas in Metro Cebu, on the other hand, were reported as 42% down from the baseline on the November 10 report. Retail and recreation include places like restaurants, cafes, shopping centers, theme parks, museums, libraries, and movie theaters.

Visits to groceries, pharmacies, markets were down 22% on the November 10 report. Residential mobility, on the other hand, was 26% higher compared to the baseline.

The changes are calculated by Google “using the same kind of aggregated and anonymized data used to show popular times for places in Google Maps.”

In a post at the ADB Blog, experts said “an analysis of data from popular transit applications indicates that there is a relationship between increased mobility and COVID-19 cases, but more information is needed to make a definitive link.”

Cebu City is again on the news because of the recent decision by the Cebu City Government to reimpose strict border controls with a recent spike in the number of COVID-19 cases.