No more stay at home: Data shows people are back on the move in the Valley

Action News has tracked data for the entire coronavirus outbreak and we have new evidence that people are back on the move.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- If you've become a little anxious for "stay at home" orders to end, you're not alone.

Action News has tracked data for the entire coronavirus outbreak and we have new evidence that people are back on the move.

Bill Milner knows he needs to be careful with a contagious virus killing vulnerable people.

"A year ago I was battling stage four cancer, head and neck," he said.

The Clovis man is in remission now, but after staying at home for more than five weeks because of the coronavirus, his patience ran out.

"So we went to Pismo, which was nice," he said. "I mean, it was a good change."

Milner says his family was careful and the beach and hotel weren't crowded, so social distancing was easy - unlike the images he's seen from Southern California on the same weekend.

Evidence of growing impatience is right in our pockets and purses.

Anonymous cell phone location data analyzed by Safegraph shows that as of April 17, 42% of people in Fresno County did not leave their homes on a daily basis.

The number has slowly declined until it was below 40% a week later, but a lot of people are still trying to stay in.

"We leave the home maybe twice a week to forage for fresh food, fresh veggies," said Sally Reynolds of Clovis.

Four weeks ago, Action News reported about how drastically travel patterns had changed.

Cell phone data then showed people in the Valley traveling one-third as much as before "stay at home" orders.

Our daily routines don't look the same any more.

But the data now show our travel patterns are slowly shifting back.

Parks and sidewalks and grocery stores are a little busier.

The trend looks the same in Tulare and Merced counties, and the state as a whole.

People in the Valley actually leave home more than people in the rest of the state.

"(A 'stay at home order') just irritates people," said Sally's husband, David Reynolds. "You can't do what you try to do because everything else is going on."

"But we're going to shelter in place mostly," Sally interjected. "We're going to stay that way."

For Milner, one trip was enough, at least for now.

He says he can stay at home another six weeks before travel fever sets in again.

For more news coverage on the coronavirus and COVID-19 go to ABC30.com/coronavirus
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