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Map shows COVID-19's potential spread from spring breakers

Posted at 9:44 PM, Apr 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-01 21:44:04-04

FLORIDA (WTXL) — For those in need of proof about social distancing or stay-at-home requests, here's a map that follows a random grouping of Ft. Lauderdale spring breaker's cell phone's after they left.

To give an idea of the ramifications of beach-goers ignoring warnings, a tech company crunched some numbers to show just how quickly a virus can spread across the country from a single beach.

Using data from cell phone signals, Tectonix released a video showing the spread from a Ft. Lauderdale beach.

“We wanted to see the true footprint of social gathering like spring break beach crowds really have on our society in the face of a global pandemic,” as stated in the video.

Tectonix took cell information during the first two weeks of March from the specific beach, then tracked those unique mobile devices over the rest of the month of March.

“We took a look at a specific beach in Ft. Lauderdale over a two week period, which was spring break,” said Jefferson Wilson, Tectonix chief operating officer. “Then, using Tectonix we were able to zoom back out and see where those devices went before and after spring break.”

In the video, you can see the mobile devices spread from Florida to the midwest and east coast, clearly showing the massive potential impact and how quickly the virus can spread.