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Majority Of Americans Supports Measures That Could Stop Spread Of COVID-19, Johns Hopkins Survey Finds

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- In a months-long study during the height of the pandemic in 2020, Johns Hopkins researchers discovered that the majority of Americans support measures that could stop the spread of COVID-19. Researchers say the efforts that have high support from many Americans include social distancing, mask-wearing and contact tracing.

But researchers also found that despite overwhelming support from many Americans, some groups continued to resist safety measures.

The survey, which followed the same sample of people in April, July and November of 2020, found support for the mitigation efforts was strongest in April, but there continued to be strong support in July and November even as the pandemic continued and restrictions became more strict in some cases.

"The November survey found that 79 percent of U.S. adults supported mask wearing, 78 percent supported social distancing, and 73 percent supported contact tracing," the university said in a news release.

"The overall finding for the studies was that there continues to be broad support across Americans for these measures, but we see major differences within important subgroups," said Colleen Barry, Ph.D., a professor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Researchers found that Democrats are more likely to believe in these measures than independents and Republicans.

Barry said a lack of trust in the public health system could become an obstacle to progress, so it's important to use trusted community voices, like religious leaders, to share accurate science-based information, especially when it comes to vaccinations.

"Especially here in Baltimore, science hasn't always done right by our communities and so there is some work to do to rebuild trust and to rebuild relationships," she said.

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department's website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ's coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

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