Port Royal Park / PPL Walking

A family walks at Port Royal Park in Spring Hill.

The latest COVID-19 mobility report from Google shows that from late October to early December, Williamson County residents visited parks 49 percent less often than during early summer, and 76 percent less than during late spring.

Despite the severe drop in park visits, Williamson residents are still traveling to parks 9 percent more often when compared to pre-pandemic rates.

How mobility data is gathered, measured

The report is made using data collected from Google users’ smartphones who have their Location History setting turned on — this setting is turned off by default, and can be turned off by clicking here.

Using users' location history, the report tracks visitations to six different categories of locations; retail and recreation, grocery and pharmacy, parks, transit stations, workplaces, and residential.

This most recent report, which looks at mobility data gathered between Oct. 20 and Dec. 1, uses mobility data from Jan. 3-Feb. 6 as a baseline to compare current levels of travel with pre-pandemic levels.

The report's findings

By far the category of location that saw the most change in visitation when compared to previous mobility report covered by the Home Page was parks.

While still being visited by Williamson residents 9 percent more often than pre-pandemic levels, park visits have been progressively declining over the past month, with late November showing a brief period of park visits dropping below baseline levels.

From Jun. 9-Jul. 21, Williamson residents had traveled to parks 58 percent more often when compared to the baseline period, and 85 percent more often from Mar. 28-May 9.

Other metrics of travel have more or less remained stagnant since the summer.

In this latest report, travel to retail and recreation locations is 14 percent less frequent than pre-pandemic levels, travel to grocery and pharmacy locations is 7 percent less, travel to transit stations is 4 percent less, workplaces 46 percent less, and travel to residential homes is up 16 percent.