Most South Dakotans believe hand-washing is greatest COVID-19 mitigation strategy

The majority of South Dakota residents said hand-washing is the most important measure one can take to prevent COVID-19 infection, according to poll findings from Brookings-based South Dakota State University. 

Researchers analyzed July 31 to Aug. 14 data taken from "The South Dakota Covid-19 Family Impact Survey 2021." A total of 573 registered voters in South Dakota participated in the survey. Respondents were asked to rank several COVID-19 mitigation measures in terms of how effective each measure is in slowing the virus's spread. 

Below, the mitigation measures are listed as ranked by respondents from most important to least important:

1. Hand-washing

2. Vaccination

3. Avoiding large groups

4. Mask-wearing

5. Taking vitamins

6. Avoiding travel

These results reveal a gap between public beliefs and scientists regarding COVID-19 mitigation. The virus spreads primarily through breathing in air exhaled by an infected person, according to the CDC. For this reason, the agency emphasizes the importance of vaccination, wearing a mask and social distancing over other efforts.  


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