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Gallup: Fewer willing to isolate and distance, but more worry about COVID-19

People gather, some without face masks, in Washington Square Park in New York City on Friday at a Donald Trump is Over party to celebrate former Vice President Joe Biden. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
People gather, some without face masks, in Washington Square Park in New York City on Friday at a "Donald Trump is Over" party to celebrate former Vice President Joe Biden. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 11 (UPI) -- Fewer than half of Americans are receptive to the idea of staying inside their homes for a prolonged period of time if a serious COVID-19 outbreak led experts to recommend it, according to a Gallup survey Wednesday.

The survey asked respondents if they would be willing to remain home for a month if health officials said it was necessary to contain a "serious" outbreak in their community. Just 49% said they would be "very likely" to do so.

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The new share is a significant decline from the 67% who said in April that they'd be very likely to stay home for a month, if such a scenario were advised by health officials.

Eighteen percent said they would be "somewhat likely" to stay home for a month and 33% said staying home for that long would be "very unlikely" or "somewhat unlikely."

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Gallup polled almost 3,000 adults in late October for the survey, as coronavirus cases began to rise again nationwide. The United States has added more than 100,000 new cases for several days in a row and is in the middle of a new surge that experts believe is rooted in spreading factors associated with colder weather and flu season.

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Gallup said the decline between April and now was mainly influenced by politics -- with Democrats remaining vigilant and many Republicans abandoning caution.

"Most of the decline in Americans' willingness to follow shelter-in-place advice is due to a sharp drop among Republicans -- falling to 40% in Gallup's latest polling, from 74% in the spring," Gallup wrote. "Democrats' willingness to stay at home has remained high, at 87% today versus 91% in March and April."

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Wednesday's survey also found that concern in the United States about the coronavirus outbreak is ticking back up, but fewer Americans are as vigilant about distancing than they were in the spring.

When asked if they properly "isolated" with persons outside their homes recently, just 38% said they "completely" or "mostly" isolated. About a quarter said they "partially" isolated and 35% said they isolated a little or not at all.

When asked if the crisis is getting better or worse in the United States, 61% said it's getting worse, an increase from about 40% in the April survey. Just 23% said it's getting better.

Gallup polled nearly 3,000 U.S. adults nationwide for the survey, which has a margin of error of 3 points.

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