Health Care

Mandatory quarantines top priority for Americans before resumption of activities: poll

An overwhelming majority of Americans say it’s important for the government to implement mandatory quarantines for people who have tested positive for the coronavirus and improve medical therapies to treat the disease in order for them to feel comfortable resuming normal activities, according to a new poll from Gallup.

The survey, which was released on Monday, quizzed Americans on conditions they’d like to see met before they are willing to return to activities they took part in before the outbreak of the coronavirus. The results indicated that more than two-thirds of respondents believe it is “very important” for four conditions to be met for them to feel comfortable about a return to normalcy.

The top priority among respondents was for a mandatory quarantine to be in place for anyone who tests positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. Eighty percent said it was “very important” for the condition to be met, while 14 percent said it was somewhat important. 

Meanwhile, 77 percent said it was very important for them to see an improvement in medical therapies to treat COVID-19. Seventy-three percent also said that it was very important for a significant reduction in the number of new cases or deaths from the disease to take place before they return to normal activities. 

Another 68 percent said that the availability of a vaccine would be very important when it comes to their willingness to return to normal. 

More than half of respondents also said that widespread testing (61 percent), assurances from medical authorities that hospitals have the capacity to accept patients (59 percent) and requirements that people maintain social distancing (51 percent) were very important before resuming normal activities. 

The findings come as states throughout the U.S. begin to relax social distancing restrictions and allow some businesses to reopen with modified restrictions. President Trump has also been aggressively pushing for parts of the U.S. economy to reopen. 

While speaking with reporters during a trip to Arizona last week, the president acknowledged that some people would be “badly affected” by a reopening. But he argued that “we have to get our country open, and we have to get it open soon.” 

Health experts have urged leaders to be cautious while making plans to reopen, warning that relaxing restrictions too quickly could lead to a second wave of infections.

While protests demanding an end to stay-at-home orders have emerged in several states, a majority of the public has indicated that they support the restrictions.

A Monmouth survey from earlier this month found that 63 percent of respondents worried that states would lift restrictions on some activities too quickly. Just 29 percent said they worried states were not moving fast enough to lift those restrictions. 

The Gallup poll was conducted between April 27 and May 3 among a sample of 4,553 U.S. adults. It has a margin of error of 3 percentage points.  

Tags Coronavirus Donald Trump reopening Social distancing

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