With funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Civis Analytics is conducting ongoing research to study the social, economic and educational impacts of COVID-19 in America. Research is conducted at a national level as well as deep dives in Florida, Texas, Washington, Ohio and New York.
As the December holidays approach, 48.6% of US adults are ‘Very’ concerned that the upcoming holidays will cause an increase in COVID-19 cases in their state, followed by 27.6% ‘somewhat’ concerned, 12.2% ‘slightly’ concerned, and 11.6% ‘not at all’ concerned. 13.1% of US adults plan to travel, while 80.7% do not plan to travel, and 6.2% are not sure yet. 36.8% of adults are planning to celebrate with friends or family members who live outside of their home, while 53.1% do not plan to do so, and 10.1% are not sure yet. 68.6% of US adults say their holiday gatherings will be smaller than last year, while 27.8% say they will be the same size, and 3.7% say they will be larger.
62.8% of adults say they are ‘very’ or ‘somewhat’ likely to get vaccinated for COVID-19 when a safe and effective vaccine becomes available, while 27.5% say they are ‘very’ or ‘somewhat’ unlikely, and 9.8% are not sure. Compared to vaccination intent in late October, this is a slight increase in intent to get vaccinated, with 59.6% of adults saying they were ‘very’ or ‘somewhat’ likely to get vaccinated, 29.4% saying they were ‘very’ or ‘somewhat’ unlikely, and 11.0% not sure.
Of those who are unlikely or unsure whether they will get vaccinated, 46.6% said it is because they don’t trust that the vaccine will really be safe, 42.4% said they are worried the vaccine will have side effects, and 33.8% said they are concerned it has not been tested enough on people like themselves. 39.0% of adults say they would be more likely to get the COVID-19 vaccine if they knew it would help protect them from getting COVID-19, 38.8% said they would be more likely to get the vaccine if it has been approved by the FDA, and 37.6% said they would be more likely to get the vaccine if it has passed clinical trials. When it comes to reasons to get the COVID-19 vaccine, 39.8% of adults say being more comfortable leaving home to do everyday errands is a compelling reason, while 36.8% selected helping people and businesses whose finances have been negatively impacted back on their feet sooner, and 36.7% selected resuming all the activities that they can’t do now(respondents were asked to select all that apply).
Which of the following would make you more likely to get the COVID-19 vaccine if it has been proven safe and tested to be effective? Select all that apply.
US Margin of Error = 1.5%
When asked about government budget priorities, 60.4% of US adults said they would increase federal spending for health care, 57.7% would increase federal spending for coronavirus, and 53.7% would increase federal spending for assistance to the needy in the world. For state budgets, 64.5% of US adults said they would increase spending for health care, 60.2% would increase spending for coronavirus, and 50.3% would increase spending for K-12 education.
48.1% of US adults said that they would increase spending for K-12 education in the federal government budget, and 31.2% said they would increase spending for postsecondary education in the federal budget. Similarly, 50.3% of US adults said they would increase spending for K-12 education in their state’s government budget, and 33.8% said they would increase spending for postsecondary education in the state budget.
26.4% of parents of K-12 students report that their children are attending all in-person classes, 53.0% report that their children are attending all remote classes, and 20.6% reporting a hybrid of in-person and remote.
As for implementation of safety measures in K-12 schools, 92.6% of K-12 parents said their children’s school has been ‘very’ or ‘somewhat successful’ in increasing cleaning and disinfecting of facilities, followed by 91.8% reported success in providing masks and hand sanitizer to each student and 90.8% reported success in requiring sick students and staff to stay home.
In terms of prioritizing groups of students for in-person instruction, 68.7% of adults said it is ‘extremely’ or ‘very important’ that students with special needs or learning disabilities are prioritized highest for a return to in-person instruction, followed by low income students (65.3%) and elementary school students (62.3%). College and university students were given the lowest priority in a return to in-person instruction, with 50.5% of adults saying it is ‘extremely’ or ‘very important.’
Some people think states and school districts should prioritize certain groups of students for in-person instruction as schools reopen. For each group of students, please indicate how important you think it is for states and districts to prioritize them highest for a return to in-person instruction.
(% of adults who responded “Extremely important” or “Very important”)
US Margin of Error = 1.4%
COVID-19 Protective Measures
81.2% of adults report ‘always’ wearing a cloth face covering or face mask while in public, 58.1% ‘always’ staying home and limited trips to only essentials, 65.4% ‘always’ staying 6 feet apart from others, 30.6% ‘always’ gathering with small groups only, and 37.2% ‘always’ gathering with small groups only when socializing, continuing to wear masks and remain six feet apart during group activities.
Of those who report only ‘sometimes,’ ‘rarely’, or ‘never’ wear a face mask, 30.2% say they don’t do so because it’s not necessary if they are social distancing/outside, followed by 23.1% who say they don’t do so because it’s uncomfortable and 22.9% who say they don’t do so because they don’t really trust the people who are telling us it is necessary to wear a mask. Of those who report not always staying 6 feet apart from others, 45.7% say they don’t do so because some of the places they go don’t have enough room to stay 6 feet apart, followed by 31.9% who say they don’t do so because others do not stay socially distant and 24.6% who say they don’t do so because it’s not necessary to stay physically distanced if outside and/or wearing a mask. Of those who report not always gathering with small groups only when socializing, 33.8% say they don’t do so because they trust that their friends and family have taken proper precautions, followed by 24.4% who say they don’t do so because it’s not necessary to gather in small groups if they are wearing masks, standing six feet apart, and/or are outside and 18.4% who say they don’t do so because gatherings are spontaneous, so it’s not easy to control the number of people.
When asked what would make them more likely to follow recommended COVID-19 behaviors, 61.6% of adults selected if they believed it would help end the pandemic as soon as possible, 32.8% of adults selected if they believed it was a way to protect the most vulnerable in their community, and 22.4% of adults selected if they believed it would mean they were not responsible for getting someone else sick.
Attitudes toward Coronavirus
How concerned are you about Coronavirus (COVID-19)?
US Margin of Error = 1.4%
Overall, 46.6% of US adults say that they are ‘Very concerned’ about Coronavirus (COVID-19), up from 43.6% from our last wave of research in October. Concern about Coronavirus (COVID-19) has increased slightly since September.
When it comes to information sources about COVID-19, their physician is the most ‘strongly’ trusted among adults (48.0%), followed by federal public health officials (33.4%), and the World Health Organization (31.3%). The most frequently used information sources by US adults are broadcast news (41.3% used in the last 7 days), social media (40.2%), and cable news (39.8%). 26.0% of adults believe that all or most of the information available about COVID-19 is trustworthy, while 36.6% believe there is misinformation and it’s hard to know what’s real, 21.6% believe there is some misinformation but it’s easy to know what’s fake, and 15.7% say they can’t trust all or most of the information available about COVID-19.
Thinking about the information you learn about COVID-19 and the pandemic, which of the following most closely describes how you feel?
US Margin of Error = 1.4%
Responses were gathered through online web panels and weighted to accurately reflect the entire adult U.S. population. Questions were fielded December 9-14, 2020 (8,567 respondents).
Deep dive analysis is available at a national level and starting in Wave 4, for certain states.
April 17-19, 2020: National
April 10-12, 2020: National
April 02-04, 2020: National
This data has been shared with the Understanding Coronavirus in America Study led by the USC Dornsife Center for Economic and Social Research.