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Week 3 Survey: Majority of North Carolinians continue to report changes in their behavior via different types of social distancing

Week 3 Survey: Majority of North Carolinians continue to report changes in their behavior via different types of social distancing

Thursday, April 16, 2020

This survey was designed by the Duke University COVID19 Digital Lab, a joint project of Duke Forge and the Duke University Social Science Research Institute, and conducted by Clarity+Campaign Labs. Project team members include Erich S. Huang, MD, PhD (Director, Duke Forge and Duke Crucible; Assistant Dean for Biomedical Informatics, Duke University School of Medicine), Jessilyn Dunn, PhD (Department of Biomedical Engineering, Duke Pratt School of Engineering), Kyle Endres, PhD (Duke Social Science Research Institute), Nick Eubank, PhD (Duke Social Science Research Institute), Dana Pasquale, PhD (Duke Social Science Research Institute), and Donald H. Taylor, Jr., PhD (Director, Duke Social Science Research Institute; Professor, Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke University).


Background

The Duke Forge/Duke University Social Science Research Institute (SSRI) COVID19 Digital Lab commissioned a survey that was conducted for a third time by Clarity+ Campaign Labs (CCL) from April 11-13, 2020 to ask North Carolinians (N=1,347; margin of error: +/- 2.49%) about their social distancing behavior related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The first survey was conducted from March 29-31, 2020 (N=1,274) and from April 4-6 (N=1,426). The survey is repeated weekly in order to track any changes in self-reported behavior that may influence the transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. All of the responses to the Week 3 survey asked about behavior after the statewide "Stay at Home" order issued by Governor Cooper took effect at 5:00 pm EDT on March 30, 2020.

Full details of the survey methodology, the questionnaire instrument and the raw data may be accessed and freely used (please see links at bottom under "Additional Resources").

The survey will be repeated weekly and results updated in order to track any changes in self-reported behavior that may influence the transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. For the previous week's results summary, please click here: Week 2 Survey of Social Distancing in North Carolina, April 4-6, 2020.


Summary of Results

The vast majority of North Carolinians (96% yes vs 3% no) for Week 3 continue to report changes in their behavior via different types of social distancing, but there are still ongoing behaviors that can serve to spread the coronavirus. For example, large numbers continue to engage with others outside their household. For the second consecutive week, approximately 6 in 10 survey respondents reported having had physical, face-to-face interactions with at least one person who does not live in their household during the previous 24 hours.

Notably, the proportion of households reporting that a member left the household for work in the 3 days prior to the answering the survey dropped to 44% this week, down from 49% in Week 1 and 47% in Week 2.

Of particular note is the steady downward trend in households who reported a member leaving the household for work: the proportion of households reporting that a member left the household for work in the 3 days prior to the answering the survey dropped to 44% this week, down from 49% in Week 1 and 47% in Week 2.

The percentage of North Carolinians who think it is likely that they will get the coronavirus dropped to 8%, compared with 13% in our Week 1 and Week 2 surveys.

The proportion of households reporting a child playing with a child from another household was 20% this week, which falls between the proportion reported for Week 1 (17%) and Week 2 (23%).

Survey Response Details

Question: About how many people that do not live in your household have you had physical, face-to-face interactions with in the past 24 hours?

Number Week 1 Week 2 Week 3
None 36% 39% 39%
1 to 3 33% 38% 39%
4 to 6 11% 10% 10%
7 or more 19% 14% 11%

 

Question: For how many of those interactions were you able to stay at least 6 feet from the other person at all times? (Six feet is just far enough that if you and the other person both reached out your arms, you couldn’t touch one another.)

Number Week 1 Week 2 Week 3
None 21% 19% 19%
1 to 3 45% 54% 53%
4 to 6 16% 13% 16%
7 or more 19% 13% 13%

 

Question: In the last week, how many times did you spend time in a group of more than 20 people? 

Number Week 1 Week 2 Week 3
None 78% 82% 81%
1 to 3 15% 13% 14%
4 to 6 2% 2% 2%
7 or more % 2% 3%

 

Question: Approximately how many times, if at all, did you wash your hands in the past 24 hours? (Your best guess is fine.)

Number Week 1 Week 2 Week 3
None 0% 1% 1%
1 to 3 4% 4% 7%
4 to 6 18% 18% 19%
7 or more 77% 77% 73%

 

Several questions provide the respondents views about their personal risk of contracting the coronavirus, and their view of how most North Carolinians are responding to the current pandemic.

Question: Do you think it’s likely that you’ll get the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19?

  Week1 Week 2 Week 3
Likely 13% 13% 8%
Not likely 57% 59% 64%
Unsure 30% 28% 28%

 

Question: How would you describe the way most North Carolinians are dealing with the coronavirus outbreak? Would you say that most North Carolinians are underestimating the risk, reacting appropriately, or overreacting?

Reaction Week1 Week 2 Week 3
Underestimating risk 38% 37% 34%
Reacring Appropriately 52% 55% 57%
Overeacting 9% 8% 9%

 

Additional Resources

Contact Information

For questions about this survey and associated data, please contact Donald H. Taylor, Jr.

Duke SSRI

Durham, NC 27708 | 919.681.6019

SSRI

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140 Science Drive
Durham, NC 27708

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2024 W. Main St.
Durham, NC 27705

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