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Most Greater Cincinnati Adults Follow COVID-19 Safety Measures

Feb 9, 2021

As Greater Cincinnati continues to work to reduce the incidence of COVID-19, adherence to public health guidelines will be key. The Greater Cincinnati COVID-19 Health Issues Survey, a new project of Interact for Health, asked adults if they have been following public health recommendations to slow the spread of the virus. It found that:

  • More than 9 in 10 (96%) frequently wash their hands.
  • Nine in 10 (90%) wear masks indoors.
  • About 9 in 10 (89%) use hand sanitizer.
  • About 9 in 10 (89%) maintain social distancing.
  • About 7 in 10 (73%) wear masks outdoors.
  • More than half of adults in the region (58%) follow all five recommendations.

The Greater Cincinnati COVID-19 Health Issues Survey was conducted between Oct. 7 and Nov. 17, 2020, to learn more about the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on Greater Cincinnati. It asked Greater Cincinnati adults about their adherence to behaviors to reduce the spread of COVID-19, intent to get the vaccine as well as how the pandemic has affected their mental and physical health, financial stability, tobacco use and substance abuse. The survey was conducted by the Institute for Policy Research at the University of Cincinnati. Additional data will be released in the coming weeks.

"The COVID-19 vaccines are a breakthrough in our community's ability to come back from this pandemic," said O'dell Moreno Owens, M.D., M.P.H., President and CEO of Interact for Health. "But the reality is that many are not yet able to get the vaccine. Thus, it is critical as we wait for vaccination rates to increase, and even once we are vaccinated, that we continue to practice those behaviors that are simple but effective in reducing the transmission of the virus, like wearing masks and washing hands."

The survey also found that about 9 in 10 Greater Cincinnati adults (87%) believe the COVID-19 pandemic is a significant crisis or serious problem. Adherence to all five practices varied by race, residence, income and political affiliation, as shown in this infographic. It also varied by:

  • Perception of the pandemic. Adults who think COVID-19 is a significant crisis (71%) were more likely to take all five precautions than those who think it is a serious problem (51%) or a minor issue or not a problem. (20%).
  • Perception of risk. Adults who think they are in a high-risk group for catching COVID-19 (64%) were more likely to do all five measures than those who do not think they are in a high-risk group (56%).

"The pandemic has impacted so many aspects of our lives, leading to job loss, school closure, social isolation and fear, often with a far greater impact on communities of color and people with lower incomes," Owens said. "Recovery from COVID-19 should benefit all of us, but to get there, we all need to be vigilant in wearing masks, washing hands, and when possible, avoiding contact with people outside your household. And, we should get vaccinated when it's available to us. In doing so, we will protect our families, friends and neighbors from this dangerous and deadly virus."

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