A sign encourages distancing at a polling location for the Washington, D.C., primary election on June 2. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo
July 20 (UPI) -- Gallup said in a new survey Monday that Americans are well aware of the rising number of COVID-19 cases but don't seem to be reacting with a greater sense of urgency when it comes to wearing masks and distancing.
The survey found that about two-thirds of U.S. adults acknowledge the pandemic is getting worse, but many aren't being as vigilant as they were during the first surges in March and April.
About 44% of respondents said they're isolating from activity with persons from outside their homes. That figure was 75% in April. Seventy-three percent said they're avoiding travel, down from 91% in April.
Mask usage, however, is at a record high. The survey showed 88% of respondents said they have worn a face covering in the past week, an increase from 83% at the start of June.
The survey found that mask use is divided along political lines -- 96% of Democrats, 70% of independents and 51% of Republicans said they "always" or "very often" wear a mask in public. Eighty-two percent of women said the same, compared to just 65% of men.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said face coverings are "a critical tool" in fighting the pandemic and Director Robert Redfield said COVID-19 could effectively be controlled in a matter of weeks if everyone wore a mask in public.
"Americans are mindful of the news that COVID-19 cases are spiking to new highs in much of the country, but this hasn't sent them indoors," Gallup wrote. "While it's not clear how much mask adoption may account for this, it's likely that after months of adhering to advice that the best way to avoid infection was to stay home, many are now prioritizing the advice that face masks work."
Gallup polled more than 3,600 members of its Gallup Panel for the survey, which has a margin of error of 3 points. Gallup says it uses probability-based, random sampling methods to recruit its panel members.