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New York Times: Jacksonville 1 Of Top Spots Where People Won't Stay Still

Bill Bortzfield
A New York Times report asserts Jacksonville has higher travel rates than most U.S. counties during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Duval County ranked No. 3 in the country for travel, despite people being encouraged to stay at home, according to an analysis  by The New York Times.

The Times pointed out Florida was behind other states in issuing stay-at-home orders, asserting that “people in Florida, the Southeast and other places that waited to enact such orders have continued to travel widely, potentially exposing more people as the coronavirus outbreak accelerates.”

The newspaper used cellphone location data to analyze travel patterns, looking at the time period between February 28 through March 27. As of Friday, March 24, the Times estimated the average travel distance in Duval County was 3 miles. Only Greenville County, S.C., (3.4 miles) and Jefferson County, Ala., (3.1 miles) had higher averages.

Related: Local, State, And National Coronavirus Coverage

On Wednesday both Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry and Gov. Ron DeSantis enacted stay-at-home  orders.

Florida remained the holdout among states hit hard by the coronavirus in not ordering residents to stay at home. A number of cities and counties in the state previously issued stay-at-home orders for residents, including Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties, which have over 60% of the state's COVID-19 cases. 

- NPR  contributed to this report.

Bill Bortzfield can be reached at, 904-358-6349 or on Twitter at @BortzInJax.

Bill joined WJCT News in September of 2017 from The Florida Times-Union, where he served in a variety of multimedia journalism positions.