Americans increasingly cautious as coronavirus cases surge

New ABC News/Ipsos poll data finds most Americans are wearing face masks when leaving the home

The author(s)
  • Chris Jackson Senior Vice President, US, Public Affairs
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Washington DC, June 26, 2020

Concern with potential coronavirus infection has rebounded in the latest ABC News/Ipsos poll as the number of cases in the South and West surge, even as more Americans are leaving the home. This trend is connected to increases in protective actions and decreased willingness to engage in certain ‘routine’ activities.

Americans are increasingly concerned with the coronavirus as cases surge across the Southern and Western United States.

  • Three-quarters of Americans (76%) are concerned about being infected by the coronavirus, up from 69% in early June. This reversed a two-month declining trend since April.
  • Almost four to one (56% to 15%), most Americans believe the U.S. is reopening the economy too quickly rather than too slowly. An additional 29% believe the economy is being reopened at the right pace.

The increase in concern is connected to an increase in protective behavior and reduction in willingness to be out in public.

  • Almost nine in ten (87%) Americans have worn a face mask or covering when leaving the home in the past week, up from 61% in mid-April.
  • The number of Americans willing to do many public activities has declined over the last two weeks after increasing through late May.
  • Americans are particular less willing to do things that would expose them to large groups or crowds such as attend a sporting event (21% willing, down from 29%), go to a movie theater (31%, down from 39%), go to church (49%, down from 57%), or fly on an airplane (36%, down from 44%).
  • Smaller-scale activities see a smaller reduction including going to a gym (28%, down from 33%), staying in a hotel (53%, down from 57%), and getting a haircut (65%, down from 69%).
Willingness to do activities

About the Study

This ABC News/Ipsos Poll was conducted June 24 to June 25, 2020 by Ipsos using the probability-based KnowledgePanel®. This poll is based on a nationally representative probability sample of 579 general population adults age 18 or older.

The survey was conducted using KnowledgePanel, the largest and most well-established online probability-based panel that is representative of the adult US population. Our recruitment process employs a scientifically developed addressed-based sampling methodology using the latest Delivery Sequence File of the USPS – a database with full coverage of all delivery points in the US. Households invited to join the panel are randomly selected from all available households in the U.S. Persons in the sampled households are invited to join and participate in the panel. Those selected who do not already have internet access are provided a tablet and internet connection at no cost to the panel member. Those who join the panel and who are selected to participate in a survey are sent a unique password-protected log-in used to complete surveys online. As a result of our recruitment and sampling methodologies, samples from KnowledgePanel cover all households regardless of their phone or internet status and findings can be reported with a margin of sampling error and projected to the general population.

The study was conducted in both English and Spanish. The data were weighted to adjust for gender by age, race, education, Census region, metropolitan status, household income, and party identification. The demographic benchmarks came from the 2019 March supplement of the U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey (CPS). Party ID benchmarks are from recent ABC News/Washington Post telephone polls. The weighting categories were as follows:

  • Gender (Male/Female) by Age (18–29, 30–44, 45–59, and 60+)
  • Race/Hispanic Ethnicity (White/Non-Hispanic, Black/Non-Hispanic, Other or 2+ Races/Non-Hispanic, Hispanic)
  • Education (Less than High School, High School graduate, Some College, Bachelor and beyond)
  • Census Region (Northeast, Midwest, South, West)
  • Metropolitan status (Metro, non-Metro)
  • Household Income (Under $25,000, $25,000-$49,999, $50,000-$74,999, $75,000-$99,999, $100,000-$149,999, $150,000+)
  • Party ID (Democrat, Republican, Independent, Other/None)

The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 4.7 percentage points at the 95% confidence level, for results based on the entire sample of adults. The margin of sampling error takes into account the design effect, which was 1.33. The margin of sampling error is higher and varies for results based on sub-samples. In our reporting of the findings, percentage points are rounded off to the nearest whole number. As a result, percentages in a given table column may total slightly higher or lower than 100%. In questions that permit multiple responses, columns may total substantially more than 100%, depending on the number of different responses offered by each respondent.

For more information on this news release, please contact:
Chris Jackson
Senior Vice President, US
Public Affairs
+1 202 420-2025
[email protected]

About Ipsos

Ipsos is the world’s third largest market research company, present in 90 markets and employing more than 18,000 people.

Our passionately curious research professionals, analysts and scientists have built unique multi-specialist capabilities that provide true understanding and powerful insights into the actions, opinions and motivations of citizens, consumers, patients, customers or employees. We serve more than 5000 clients across the world with 75 business solutions.

Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos is listed on the Euronext Paris since July 1st, 1999. The company is part of the SBF 120 and the Mid-60 index and is eligible for the Deferred Settlement Service (SRD).

ISIN code FR0000073298, Reuters ISOS.PA, Bloomberg IPS:FP

The author(s)
  • Chris Jackson Senior Vice President, US, Public Affairs