Wearing a mask in the US, but not keeping a social distance, a federal survey finds: Shots

Wearing a mask in the US, but not keeping a social distance, a federal survey finds: Shots

Like these teenagers in the August Miami grocery story, many people in the US are now wearing masks in public to prevent the spread of COVID-19. But social distance and other public health measures were slow, especially among young people, a national survey found.

Jeff Greenberg / Universal Images Group by Getty Images


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Jeff Greenberg / Universal Images Group by Getty Images

Like these teenagers in the August Miami grocery story, many people in the US are now wearing masks in public to prevent the spread of COVID-19. But social distance and other public health measures were slow, especially among young people, a national survey found.

Jeff Greenberg / Universal Images Group by Getty Images

More Americans may be wearing the mask than they were last spring, but other recommended behaviors to prevent the spread of pandemic are not gaining momentum, according to a new federal survey. Young people are less likely to take the necessary steps to prevent the virus, data indicate.

The proportion of U.S. adults wearing masks rose from 78 percent in April to 89 percent in June National Representative Survey The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released Tuesday.

The survey found no change or reduction in other behaviors aimed at preventing the spread of the corona virus, hand washing, keeping social distance, and avoiding public or crowded places.

“Interesting data,” Drs. Carlos del Rio, Professor of Global Health and Epidemiology at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University wrote in an email to NPR. Del Rio was not involved in the survey, as seen in this week’s issue Weekly report on morbidity and mortality. “The results are encouraging, but I want them to be better – especially among young people.”

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A survey conducted by the CDC in April, May and June questioned more than 2,000 U.S. adults aged 18 and over.

Young people are the least likely to engage in any of the recommended behaviors, and scientists say this could help explain the increase in infection among these older people during this period.

Although serious complications of COVID-19 are less common in young people, in some cases the infection may still be severe; Older people, even those with mild cases or no symptoms, are more likely to be infected.

“These findings underscore the need for prioritizing clear and targeted messaging and behavioral reform interventions, especially for young people, to encourage and support the maintenance of recommended mitigation properties that have been shown to slow the spread of COVID-19,” the researchers said. Write MMWR Report.

Overall, most adults reported engaging in more or less all six of the recommended behaviors: hand washing, standing 6 feet away from other people, wearing a mask, and avoiding public or crowded places; They said they would cancel or postpone social or recreational activities, excluding some or all restaurants.

With the exception of the increase in mask wearing, all other recommended behaviors were reduced from April to June, with the exception of “avoid some or all restaurants,” which made no significant change.

People 60 and older are more likely to follow the recommendations, while those between the ages of 18 and 29 are less likely.

For example, mask wearing rose from 83.7 percent in April to 92.4 percent in June.

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“We need to do more to reduce infection, but this is a surprising increase – from 0% in eight months,” Thomas Peace, The former CDC director wrote about the increase in mask wearing in an email to NPR.

However, mask wear among people aged between 18 and 29 rose from 69.6 percent in April to 86.1 percent in June.

Those who say they wear a mask are more likely to follow other recommendations. Among those who did not report mask use, the survey found that all other recommended behaviors decreased significantly from April to June.

“Adults may be more aware of COVID-19 and are more likely to develop a serious illness than young people,” the researchers said.

Young people are less likely to engage in mitigating behaviors due to “social, developmental, and practical factors.”

“Significant decline in self-reported mitigation behavior among those who do not report mask use indicates that a minority of people are more resistant to COVID-19 mitigating behaviors,” the scientists concluded, or could not engage in mitigating behaviors due to the limitations presented. By returning to work, school, or other settings. “

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