Apr 13, 2020 - Health

Most Americans are practicing social distancing

Data: KFF Health Tracking Poll, margin of error ±3 percentage points; Chart: Axios Visuals

The vast majority of Americans, across all age groups, are practicing social distancing, according to our KFF polling.

Why it matters: The public doesn’t always act in its best interests when it comes to health — but this time, people are. And it’s helping to “flatten the curve” of the coronavirus pandemic.

By the numbers: At the end of March, between 77% and 89% of all age groups were sheltering in place. Those are remarkable numbers, considering that essential workers are leaving their home and several states still do not have stay-at-home directives in place.

  • 95% of people ages 18-24 said they had taken some step to social distance, such as changing travel plans or not attending large gatherings.
  • 89% of seniors 65 and older took the same actions.

Yes, but: It is entirely possible that people are over-rating their social distancing performance, and there are still questions about how long Americans will be able to keep this up.

  • The federal government will likely loosen its social-distancing guidelines soon. Some states — particularly red states — will likely follow suit, while other states, counties and some employers will maintain social distancing restrictions longer.
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