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Gallup's Data Brief on COVID-19
Gallup Blog

Gallup's Data Brief on COVID-19

Gallup Editors

Gallup has been polling Americans on the COVID-19 crisis daily since March 13. We will use this blog to update readers on the latest findings from that research.

Here are new results from Gallup's interviewing through March 29, as well as highlights from the past two weeks.

Social Distancing Still on the Increase

Gallup last reported Americans' adherence to the nation's new social distancing norms on Friday, based on data collected via web using the Gallup Panel from March 20-22. Since then:

  • The percentage avoiding small gatherings, such as with friends and family, has surged 15 percentage points to 83%.
  • The percentage reporting they are avoiding public places, like stores and restaurants, has increased six points to 78%.
  • The percentage avoiding mass transportation, including air travel, has leveled off near 90%.
  • Gallup ceased asking Americans whether they are avoiding crowds after this reached 92% in March 20-22 interviewing.
U.S. Adults' Adoption of Social Distancing Practices
There are some things people may do because of their concern about the coronavirus. For each one of the following, please indicate if this is something you have done, are considering doing or have not considered.
Avoided crowds Avoided mass transit/air travel Avoided small gatherings Avoided public places
% % % %
Mar 27-29 -- 89 83 78
Mar 23-26 -- 90 78 77
Mar 20-22 92 87 68 72
Mar 16-19 79 75 46 54
Mar 13-15 59 55 23 30
Avoided going to events with large crowds, such as concerts, festivals or sporting events; Avoided traveling by airplane, bus, subway or train; Avoided small gatherings of people, such as with family or friends; Avoided going to public places, such as stores or restaurants
Gallup Panel, 2020

Since Gallup's original measurement of social distancing, based on March 13-15 interviewing, all societal groups have adopted stricter social distancing practices, including avoiding public places -- but certain differences have held constant. As shown in the table below, women, young adults, Democrats and residents of the most densely populated areas tend to be following this recommendation most strictly.

Percentage of Americans Who Have Avoided Public Places Due to the Coronavirus
Mar 13-15, 2020 Mar 27-29, 2020 Change
% % pct. pts.
U.S. adults 30 78 +48
Men 25 73 +48
Women 35 82 +47
18 to 29 35 89 +54
30 to 59 28 77 +49
60+ 33 76 +43
Northeast 36 79 +43
Midwest 30 82 +52
South 27 73 +46
West 32 80 +48
Party ID
Republicans 21 70 +49
Independents 27 76 +49
Democrats 41 85 +44
Population Density
Top quintile (Most dense) 41 84 +43
Second quintile 34 79 +45
Third quintile 20 77 +57
Fourth quintile 25 74 +49
Bottom quintile (Least dense) 29 73 +44
Avoided going to public places, such as stores or restaurants
Gallup Panel, 2020

Nation Increasingly Willing to Stay Home

In another indication that Americans are taking social distancing more seriously, an expanding percentage of Americans, now 64% up from 58% last weekend, say they are very likely to comply with a potential public health directive to remain in their homes for 30 days.

Americans' Likelihood of Complying with Public Health Recommendation to Shelter at Home for Month
If public health officials recommended that everyone stay at home for a month because of a serious outbreak of coronavirus in your community, how likely are you to stay home for a month?
Very likely Somewhat likely Somewhat unlikely Very unlikely
% % % %
2020 Mar 27-29 64 19 8 9
2020 Mar 23-26 63 21 6 10
2020 Mar 20-22 58 24 9 9
2020 Mar 16-19 51 27 11 12
2020 Mar 13-15 41 29 14 16
Gallup Panel, 2020

Americans Overwhelmingly Endorse the Recovery Package

According to Gallup polling over the weekend, 77% of U.S. adults approve of the recently passed $2 trillion economic relief package designed to help Americans and businesses weather economic dislocation caused by the public health crisis.

Learn more in this write-up by Gallup's Jeffrey M. Jones: Bipartisan Support for COVID-19 Rescue Legislation (March 30)

Gauging the Effect on U.S. Workers

Gallup is monitoring changes in employment, worker productivity and worker engagement during the COVID-19 crisis. Megan Brenan's March 27 article, U.S. Employees Increasingly Seeing COVID-19 Effects at Work, summarizes the latest important findings from this research.

These articles from the prior week show how much has changed in workers' expectations for -- and experience of -- the crisis in a very short period of time.

Most U.S. Workers Not Yet Drastically Impacted by COVID-19 (March 19)

Half of U.S. Workers Expect COVID-19 to Harm Workplace (March 16)

Americans Wary of Economic Impact

The following articles document that Americans are well aware of the impact that the health crisis and measures being taken to end it are likely to have on the U.S. economy.

Americans Increasingly Expect Economic Recession (March 26)

U.S. Economic Confidence Slides Amid Coronavirus Situation (March 18)

Most U.S. Adults Expect Long-Term COVID-19 Disruption (March 25)

Rating the Nation's Leading Actors in COVID-19 Crisis

Americans' initial reaction to the job that various public health and elected officials are doing leading the country through the crisis is relatively positive. As detailed in Justin McCarthy's March 25 article, Coronavirus Response: Hospitals Rated Best, News Media Worst, approval ranges from a high of 88% for U.S. hospitals to a low of 59% for Congress. It also finds 82% of workers approving of their employer's handling of the situation, but only 44% approving of the news media.

Personal Risk and Worry About Contracting COVID-19

Americans' worry about themselves or a family member being exposed to the coronavirus rose sharply between February and March. As the number of Americans afflicted with COVID-19 surges, that shift may also reflect Americans' growing understanding that the highly contagious virus is especially dangerous for those with certain common pre-existing health conditions, such as diabetes, asthma and heart disease.

A special analysis by Gallup's Dan Witters and Sangeeta Agrawal estimates that as many as 11 million Americans are at risk for experiencing severe complications from the virus should they contract it, a worst-case figure that assumes all Americans are exposed.

Read Frank Newport's recent summary of the latest polling by Gallup and others on the coronavirus in his March 27 piece, Six Emerging Conclusions: Public Opinion and COVID-19.

The content for this blog was contributed to by Lydia Saad, Jeffrey M. Jones, Megan Brenan, Mohamed Younis, Jenny Marlar and Angelina Theodorou.

Explore Gallup articles about COVID-19 on the COVID-19 Topics page.

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