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Study finds social distancing compliance sank to low in October, ahead of coronavirus surge

Study finds social distancing compliance sank to low in October, ahead of coronavirus surge
© Greg Nash

A study from The COVID States Project found that compliance with social distancing fell to a record low ahead of the fall surge in coronavirus cases.

Researchers surveyed over 15,000 people between April and November across all 50 states, according to The Washington Post.

The report found that adherence to health recommendations to reduce the spread of the virus had dropped steadily since April. Adherence to avoiding contact with others, avoiding crowded places, frequently washing hands and disinfecting surfaces all dropped to all-time lows.

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Forty-five percent of Americans surveyed in October said that they had been in a room with people not in their households in the past 24 hours, up from 26 percent in April. Reports of spending time in a group of 11 to 100 people also more than doubled.

However, adhering to mask-wearing increased through the end of August, and has continued to increase, the study found. Seventy-seven percent of those surveyed reported closely adhering to mask-wearing recommendations in November.

Experts are now warning of a winter surge as the colder months force more people to spend time indoors where the virus more easily spreads. The expected surge prompted many states to reimpose or implement new coronavirus restrictions in an attempt to limit the spread of the virus, particularly around the holidays.

Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended Americans not travel for Christmas out of fear that gatherings during the holiday season could ultimately spread the virus.