How Albertans Behaved During the Initial COVID-19 Days: Google Mobility Reports

Google has analysed location data from billions of Google users’ phones from around the world and has released mobility reports to help the public and health authorities understand how social distancing guidance is working related to COVID-19.

Google has said that insights in these reports are created with aggregated, anonymized sets of data from users who have turned on the Location History setting, which is off by default.

Alberta government declared a state of public health emergency to combat the rapid rise of COVID-19 on March 17th.


Alberta has closed vehicle access to all provincial parks, closed dine-in restaurants, shopping centres as part of aggressive measures to combat the rapid rate of spread of COVID-19.

The report released on April 2, highlights data collected 2 to 3 days earlier prior. The baseline is the median value, for the corresponding day of the week, during the 5-week period Jan 3–Feb 6, 2020.


  • 55% reduction in travel to places like restaurants, cafes, shopping centers, theme parks, museums, libraries, and movie theaters.
  • 29% reduction in places like grocery markets, food warehouses, farmers markets, specialty food shops, drug stores,and pharmacies.
  • 23% reduction to places like national parks, public beaches, marinas, dog parks, plazas, and public gardens.
  • 63% reduction in traffic to places like public transport hubs such as subway, bus, and train stations
  • 41% reduction in traffic to places of work.
  • 13% increase in traffic for places of residence.

Credit: Google Mobility Reports

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