NEW YORK, April 23, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Stay-at-home orders appear to be influencing the behavior of Americans in states and localities where they have been instituted. While most Americans are going out for essential supplies, and outdoor exercise is popular, far fewer individuals are visiting friends and family, or going to a workplace according to a new poll from Fordham University.

The poll, conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago, took place from April 16 through 20, 2020, among 1,003 respondents nationwide. It has a margin of sampling error of 4.33 percentage points. The poll is a product of the Fordham Graduate School of Arts and Sciences’ Advanced Certificate in Public Opinion and Survey Research and the M.A. in Elections and Campaign Management.

Percentage who have gone out to do the following since stay-at-home order was put in place
(among those who say they are under stay-at-home orders)

Gone out to get
groceries or
essential supplies
Gone outside
to exercise
Gone out to
go to work
Gone out to
visit friends
or family
Gone to a
restaurant to
get take-out

Just over half of all Americans in stay-at-home states have been out to pick up a take-out order since those statewide limits were issued. And these numbers are highest among those with the highest incomes: nearly two-thirds (64%) of those making over $100,000 a year have gone out for take-out, compared to only 40% of those making less than $30,000. According to Professor Monika McDermott, the poll’s director, “Overall Americans are allowing themselves to go outside in order to get restaurant food, although it appears to be more of a luxury than a necessity, as those with the most means are most likely to be doing it.”

Age is a large determinant of whether Americans are willing to risk going out for non-essentials. A full 36% of those ages 18 through 34 years report having defied stay-at-home rules to go out and spend time with friends or family, compared to only 21% of those 65 years old or older.

When it comes to how often Americans are going out into spaces where they could come within six feet of others, most are doing so infrequently. Only 11% of Americans are putting themselves in such situations daily, 20% are doing so a few days a week, and 35% are going out only once a week. The remaining 34% are going out less than once a week.

[Questions 1 through 11 for separate release]

12. As far as you know, has the Governor of your state imposed a stay at home, or shelter in place order asking people not to go out except in case of necessity?

Don’t know/No answer1%

[Asked of those aware of state orders]
13. Since that order was issued, have you done any of the following?

[Order of items randomized]
a. Gone to the store for groceries or other necessary supplies

Don’t know/No answer0%     

b. Gone outside to exercise

Don’t know/No answer0%     

c. Gone out to visit friends or family

Don’t know/No answer1%     

d. Gone to work

Don’t know/No answer1%     

e. Gone to a restaurant to pick up take-out

Don’t know/No answer1%     

14. On average, how often would you say you have been going out to a place in which you may be within six feet of other people since the stay at home order was issued? Every day, a few days a week, once a week, twice a month, less than twice a month, or have you never put yourself in such a situation?

Every day11%     
A few days a week20%     
Once a week35%     
Twice a month13%     
Less than twice a month11%     
Don’t know/No answer1%     

The nationwide poll was part of an omnibus survey conducted April 16-20, 2020 using the AmeriSpeak® Panel, the probability-based panel of NORC at the University of Chicago. Online and telephone interviews using landlines and cell phones were conducted with 1,003 adults. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 4.33 percentage points.

Professor Monika McDermott
(917)747-1987 (cell)