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In Public health reports (Washington, D.C. : 1974)

OBJECTIVES : We conducted a survey to understand how people's willingness to share information with contact tracers, quarantine after a COVID-19 exposure, or activate and use a smartphone exposure notification (EN) application (app) differed by the person or organization making the request or recommendation.

METHODS : We analyzed data from a nationally representative survey with hypothetical scenarios asking participants (N = 2157) to engage in a public health action by health care providers, public health departments, employers, and others. We used Likert scales and ordered logistic regression to compare willingness to take action based on which person or organization made the request, and we summarized findings by race and ethnicity.

RESULTS : The highest levels of willingness to engage in contact tracing (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 1.74; 95% CI, 1.55-1.96), quarantine (aOR = 1.91; 95% CI, 1.69-2.15), download/activate an EN app (aOR = 1.30; 95% CI, 1.16-1.46), and notify other EN users (aOR = 1.43; 95% CI, 1.27-1.60) were reported when the request came from the participant's personal health care provider rather than from federal public health authorities. When compared with non-Hispanic White participants, non-Hispanic Black participants reported significantly higher levels of willingness to engage in contact tracing (aOR = 1.32; 95% CI, 1.18-1.48), quarantine (aOR = 1.49; 95% CI, 1.37-1.63), download/activate an EN app (aOR = 2.19; 95% CI, 2.01-2.38), and notify other EN users (aOR = 1.63; 95% CI, 1.49-1.79).

CONCLUSIONS : Partnering with individuals and organizations perceived as trustworthy may help influence people expressing a lower level of willingness to engage in each activity, while those expressing a higher level of willingness to engage in each activity may benefit from targeted communications.

Liccardi Ilaria, Alekseyev Jesslyn, Woltz Vilhelm L Andersen, McLean Jody E, Zurko Mary Ellen


COVID-19, attitudes, contact tracing, exposure notification, health knowledge, practice, quarantine