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More than 70% of Americans report wearing a mask in public, study shows

Roughly 73% of Americans report wearing a mask every time they leave their house, which is up 21 percentage points since May. (AP Illustration/Peter Hamlin)

Roughly 73% of Americans report wearing a mask every time they leave their house, up 21 percentage points since May, according to a survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation. Of those, 73% say it’s their responsibility to wear masks to protect the public. 

The trend splits slightly among party lines, as Democrats are more likely to report wearing their masks in public. Roughly 87% of Democrats report wearing their masks every time they leave their house, compared to just 55% of Republicans. 

Seventy-one percent of independents report wearing theirs in public. 

This comes amid growing pessimism about the coronavirus pandemic, with about half of adults reporting the “worst is yet to come.” The U.S. reported 251,447 new COVID-19 cases Saturday with 2,815 more deaths. 

At least 70% said they’ll continue wearing masks for another six months if necessary, even as vaccine distribution begins. 

The survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation asked 1,676 respondents from Nov. 30 through Dec. 8 with a margin sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points. 

Roughly one-third of respondents believe one or more misconceptions about mask-wearing. About 60% say they think the seriousness of coronavirus is exaggerated, while half believe wearing a mask is “a personal choice.”

How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus

COVID-19 coronavirus spreads person to person, similar to the common cold and the flu. So, to prevent it from spreading:

  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.
  • Don’t touch your face.
  • Wear a mask to protect yourself and others per CDC recommendations.
  • Keep children and those with compromised immune systems away from someone who is coughing or sneezing (in this instance, at least six feet).
  • If there is an outbreak near you, practice social distancing (stay at home, instead of going to the movies, sports events, or other activities).
  • Get a flu shot.

Local resources

KSL Coronavirus Q&A 

Utah’s Coronavirus Information 

Utah State Board of Education

Utah Hospital Association

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Utah Coronavirus Information Line – 1-800-456-7707

National Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Commonly asked questions, World Health Organization

Cases in the United States