Survey: Most Americans to maintain health precautions post-pandemic

A majority of Americans plan to keep up with the health and safety precautions they have been advised to follow by government and health officials even after the coronavirus pandemic is over, according to a new survey.

Nearly 72% of respondents said they will continue to wear a face mask in public, according to a survey of more than 2,000 Americans by the Ohio State University Wexton Medical Center.

The survey found 80% of respondents will continue to avoid crowds and 90% will “plan to keep up frequent handwashing and sanitizer use after COVID-19.”

“While the progress we’re making toward recovery is exciting, it’s critical that we don’t ease up on the precautions that we know have worked thus far,” said Dr. Iahn Gonsenhauser, chief quality and patient safety officer at The Ohio State University Wexton Medical Center.

Gonsenhauser said he’s encouraged that people are willing to continue these practices and that this year’s flu season is proof of their effectiveness.

“Flu cases and hospitalizations are way down compared to recent years. A lot of that is likely because precautions like masking, physical distancing and hand hygiene are working to prevent the flu,” Gonsenhauser said.

“I think a lot of people realize what we’ve learned from COVID-19 can be applied more generally to keep our population healthy,” he added.

The center said that the world has been “drastically changed by the pandemic” and continuing the health and safety practices such as social-distancing “may ease the anxiety of returning to public spaces.”

It also predicts work from home options will continue in many industries along with telehealth options that could “even be expanded in the future.”

WTOP’s Sandy Kozel contributed to this report.

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