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Percentage of Americans practicing social distancing jumps in past week: Gallup

Percentage of Americans practicing social distancing jumps in past week: Gallup
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The number of Americans practicing social distancing has jumped significantly in the past week, according to a poll released Tuesday.

This week’s Gallup poll found that 72 percent of U.S. adults say they are avoiding public places like stores and restaurants, compared to 54 percent who said they were doing the same last week.

The biggest change from last week is the number of people who are not attending small gatherings of friends and family. Forty-six percent of people last week said they are not partaking in these small gatherings, while 68 percent of respondents surveyed this week said the same. 

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Even more respondents in the poll said they are avoiding events with large crowds at 92 percent, and 87 percent say they are staying away from air travel or mass transit.

This new data appears to indicate that the public is listening to federal, state and local government calls to social distance in order to reduce community spread of the disease, Gallup noted. 

The increase follows a week when businesses shut down across the country and restaurants and bars were limited to carry-out and delivery services.

The jumps in those avoiding small gatherings and public spaces both occur across demographics like gender, age and party identification. 

A total of 64 percent of respondents reported either completely or “mostly” isolating themselves, compared to 53 percent last week.

The respondents’ willingness to follow a stay-at-home order for 30 days experienced somewhat of a boost, with 82 percent saying they were at least somewhat likely to, compared to 78 percent last week. 

The U.S. has recorded more than 49,700 cases of the virus, with at least 600 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Gallup collected these results by using the Gallup Panel, a probability-based panel of U.S. adults, 18 years old or older. Gallup has conducted social distancing practices surveying every night on the panel since March 13 and reports multiday averages.