Many Americans took COVID-19 precautions before lockdowns, survey finds

A little over 67 percent of Americans were very concerned about COVID-19 before stay-at-home orders were widely implemented, and many were already making changes to their lifestyle in response to the pandemic, a new survey shows.

The survey results, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, are derived from responses to an online survey conducted on three social media platforms March 14-16. The survey includes responses from 9,009 people.

Shelter-in-place regulations went into effect in most states in the second half of March and early April.

Four survey results:

1. Of the 8,950 people who responded to questions about the new coronavirus, 67.3 percent were very or extremely concerned about COVID-19.

2. Of those 8,950 respondents, 95.7 percent reported making changes to their lifestyle.

3. The most common lifestyle changes were more hand-washing (93.1 percent), avoiding social gatherings (89 percent), and stockpiling food and supplies (74.7 percent).

4. Of the 8,983 who responded to a question about the extent to which they are self-isolating, 19.2 percent said they were self-isolating all of the time, while 49.8 percent were self-isolating most of the time and leaving the house only to buy food and other essentials.

More articles on public health:
1 in 8 Americans know someone with COVID-19
The US populations tested most, least for COVID-19
The 4 benchmarks needed to end social distancing


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