Views on the need to implement restriction policies to be able to address COVID-19 in the United States

Vivian Hsing Chun Wang, José A. Pagán

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Several restriction policies implemented in many states in the United States have demonstrated their effectiveness in mitigating the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), but less is known about the differences in views on the restriction policies among different population segments. This study aimed to understand which different population groups of adults in the United States consider several key restriction policies as necessary to combat COVID-19. Survey data from Wave 64 (March 19–24, 2020) of the Pew Research Center's American Trends Panel (n=10,609) and logistic regression were used to evaluate the association between socioeconomic and demographic characteristics, employment status, political party affiliation, news exposure, census region, and opinions about COVID-19 restriction policies. The policies included restricting international travel, imposing business closures, banning large group gatherings, cancelling entertainment events, closing schools, limiting restaurants to carry-out only, and postponing state primary elections. Most survey respondents viewed COVID-19 restriction policies as necessary. Views on each restriction policy varied substantially across some population segments such as age, race, and ethnicity. Regardless of population segments, those who followed news closely or considered themselves Democrat/lean Democrat were more likely to consider all the policies as necessary than those not following the news closely or those who considered themselves Republican/lean Republican. The effectiveness of key COVID-19 restriction policies is likely to vary substantially across population groups given that views on the need to implement these policies vary widely. Tailored health messages may be needed for some population segments given divergent views on COVID-19 restriction policies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number106388
JournalPreventive Medicine
StatePublished - Feb 2021


  • COVID-19
  • Disease prevention
  • Health promotion
  • Public health communication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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