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Infographic – U.S. Public Split on Contact Tracing

Contact tracing survey

Click on image for full-size view (Pew Research Center)

7 Nov. 2020. While majorities of Americans say they’re willing to take part in contact tracing activities during the Covid-19 pandemic, large parts of the public are still reluctant. The Pew Research Center published these findings on 30 October, based on surveys conducted in mid-July.

The Pew survey shows six in 10 Americans are very or somewhat likely to speak to public health officials if they called or texted about a coronavirus outbreak (58%) or showed up in person (59%). But that leaves four in 10 — 41 and 40 percent respectively — who are not too likely to speak with public health officials, or not at all.

Three-quarters of Americans (77%) say they’re very or somewhat comfortable with sharing the places they’ve visited, and almost as many, 72 percent, are at least somewhat comfortable to share names of people with whom they’ve been in contact. But only about half (49%) are comfortable about sharing location data from their phones.

A near unanimous response on the survey involves isolation if needed. More than nine in 10 respondents (93%) say they would definitely or probably quarantine themselves for at least 14 days if told they had a Covid-19 infection. Despite that willingness however, about one-third American adults (32%) say in other survey questions that they would find it very or somewhat difficult to quarantine, mainly due to work obligations.

These data are drawn from a survey of 10,211 participants in Pew Research Center’s American Trends Panel, conducted 13 to 19 July. The online survey panel is recruited through national random sampling of residential addresses.

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