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Social Distancing Efforts Have Cemented Into U.S. Life

Social Distancing Efforts Have Cemented Into U.S. Life

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Avoiding public transportation such as planes, buses, subways or trains (89%) and small gatherings (84%) has become the norm for more than eight in 10 Americans. Nearly as many Americans are avoiding public places such as stores and restaurants (78%) out of concern about COVID-19. A smaller majority of U.S. adults (61%) have stocked up on food, medical or cleaning supplies.

Majorities of Americans have reported taking each of these actions since Gallup polling conducted March 20-22, and figures for most measures have remained at about their current levels since then.

Line graph. Americans reports of social distancing actions they have taken, March 13 through April 6.

The latest results, from a probability-based Gallup Panel survey conducted online April 6-9, reflect Americans' reported actions they have taken to socially distance themselves since late March.

Some notable differences by subgroup include:

  • Adults aged 18 to 44 are a bit more likely than older adults to have taken each of these actions.
  • Solid majorities within all major political party groups report having taken these measures -- but Democrats are most likely to report having done so. The biggest differences between Democrats and Republicans are seen in the percentages saying they've avoided public places (86% among Democrats and 70% among Republicans) and avoided small gatherings (92% among Democrats and 74% among Republicans).
  • Few differences exist across income groups in terms of actions they have taken -- except for the percentages saying they've stocked up on food, medical or cleaning supplies. While at least six in 10 higher-income households (66%) and middle-income households (61%) report having stocked up, less than half of lower-income households (49%) say the same.

A majority of working adults (63%) say they have worked from home as a result of concerns about the pandemic -- on par with the 59% to 63% recorded since March 23.

Meanwhile, one in five U.S. workers have stayed home and have been unable to work as a result of the outbreak. This figure has ranged from 19% to 25% since March 16.

Line graph. The percentage of U.S. employees who are either working from home or who stayed home and were unable to work.

Learn more about how the Gallup Panel works.

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