According to the contracts that were obtained by the publication, the contracts that were approved under emergency review due to the COVID-19 pandemic were aimed at providing the CDC “with the necessary data to continue critical emergency response functions related to evaluating the impact of visits to key points of interest, stay at home orders, closures, re-openings and other public health communications related to mask mandate, and other merging research areas on community transmission of SARS-CoV-2.”
The tracking data would be used to “assess home-by-hour behaviors (i.e. curfew analysis) by exploring the percentage of mobile devices at home during a specific period of time,” the CDC said. The data could also be used by integrating it with other information “to provide a comprehensive picture of movement/travel of persons during the COVID-19 pandemic to better understand mandatory stay-at-home orders, business closure, school re-openings and other non-pharmaceutical interventions in states and cities.”
The CDC also said that it could use data to connect the forced closures of bars and restaurants with COVID-19 infections and death rates. The organization also said that it will also try to assess the impact of state restrictions on close contact between people outside of their homes.
The data could also be used to monitor whether people comply with the mandated or recommended quarantines after they arrive from a different state. Also, the data could be used to examine the correlation between mobility patterns and spikes in COVID-19 cases at facilities such as churches, concerts and grocery stores, as well as movement restrictions such as curfews to show “patterns” and “compliance.”