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Social distancing in US drops significantly from peak of COVID-19 pandemic: poll

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SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – More Americans are leaving their homes and going outside during the coronavirus pandemic as more and more states relax lockdown restrictions.

A Gallup poll released Friday revealed that Americans who say they are social distancing amid the pandemic has dropped by 17% since late March as several states have ended or eased their stay-at-home orders.

The poll notes that while the number of Americans social distancing has dropped, it still a majority.

According to the poll, 58% of Americans said they are either completely (17%) or mostly (41%) isolating themselves, down from a high of 75% who said they were between March 30 and April 4 and 68% who said they were April 20-26.

Over the past two weeks, the rate has dropped by 10%.

The steady decline returns the numbers back to the level before the majority of states implemented stay-at-home orders in March.

Diving in deeper, the poll found that 49% of Americans said they are going to the grocery store, with another 30% saying they’ve been to their workplace in the last 24 hours.

However, only 13% reported going to a restaurant recently.

The poll was conducted through interviews of 4,159 U.S. adults from May 4 to 10 and officials report it has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points. 

Of the 21 states that as of May 4 lacked stay-at-home orders, 51% of survey respondents said they were either completely or mostly self-isolating. That’s down from 64% in these same states two weeks ago.

Among states that have maintained stay-at-home restrictions – which includes New York, California and Massachusetts – the share of people isolating has decreased to 64%, compared with 71% during the period of April 20-26.

Additionally, the poll found 73% of Americans still believe the best advice for healthy people is to stay home as much as possible, while 27% said Americans should go back to living their lives.

The poll results come as the number of confirmed cases and daily deaths in the US has begun to flatten nationally.

By this weekend, 48 states will have at least partially reopened.

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