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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

CUNY: New Yorkers and Coronavirus – Support for School Closures, While Most Feel Not at Risk for Contracting the Illness

Most people changing their behavior because of Coronavirus

A new CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy (CUNY SPH) survey released today found that 60 percent of New York State residents believe their chances of contracting the novel coronavirus are low or very low. The survey of 1000 New York households, (and a corresponding survey of New York City-only households, which yielded similar findings) conducted between March 13-15, 2020 and considered accurate within a range of 3 percent, also found that more than half (55 percent) of all respondents live in households with one or more members over age 60, the highest risk age group for coronavirus infection. However, just more than one-fourth (27 percent) of them believed that they were living with someone who has a high chance of becoming sick. In general, a bare majority of New Yorkers (51 percent) said they have some knowledge of coronavirus, while 34 percent believed they know a lot about it.

A substantial majority of New York residents believe that current policies help in containing the virus, including closing schools and universities (68 percent), limiting travel to and from certain countries (69 percent), and two weeks of quarantine for people exposed to the virus (71 percent).

Messages about ways to prevent the spread of the virus have led many residents to change their plans and routines in the past week. Almost one-fourth (24 percent) of respondents reported they did not attend an event they had paid for due to concerns about the virus, and almost two in five respondents (39 percent) decided to stay home instead of going to work or changed existing travel plans (40 percent). Almost three in five (57 percent) said they had stayed at home instead of going to a restaurant or movie, and almost two-thirds (64 percent) say they have avoided shaking hands or hugging.

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