Poster or Presentation Title

Mask Wearing and Social Distancing on the University of Lynchburg Campus: A Descriptive Study of COVID-19 Attitudes and Behaviors

Location

Memorial Ballroom, Hall Campus Center

Access Type

Open Access

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Start Date

7-4-2021 12:00 PM

End Date

7-4-2021 1:15 PM

Department

Public Health

Abstract

Universities have the potential for COVID-19 "superspreader" events due to the number of people in close proximity. To minimize viral spread the CDC recommends social behaviors, such as avoiding large gatherings, frequent handwashing, wearing a face mask properly, and maintain a 6-foot social distance. The purpose of this descriptive study was to better understand students’ behaviors and attitudes related to the COVID-19 pandemic and employed an online survey of University of Lynchburg students (N=176). Respondents reported that >90% wore a mask in public settings and that the people closest to them supported mask wearing (86.4%). In addition, 15.9% identified as high-risk for COVID-19 and 32.4% lived with someone who was high-risk. Although 73.3% said they socialized less since the pandemic onset, one-half (n=87) reported still attending social events. Of those 87 people, 21 reported not socially distancing and 22 said they never wore a mask at social events. Questions targeting COVID-19 attitudes demonstrated that the university's response was overcautious (33.5%), the media overexaggerated the pandemic severity (35.2%) and that mask wearing infringed upon personal rights (

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Brooke Bouza

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Apr 7th, 12:00 PM Apr 7th, 1:15 PM

Mask Wearing and Social Distancing on the University of Lynchburg Campus: A Descriptive Study of COVID-19 Attitudes and Behaviors

Memorial Ballroom, Hall Campus Center

Universities have the potential for COVID-19 "superspreader" events due to the number of people in close proximity. To minimize viral spread the CDC recommends social behaviors, such as avoiding large gatherings, frequent handwashing, wearing a face mask properly, and maintain a 6-foot social distance. The purpose of this descriptive study was to better understand students’ behaviors and attitudes related to the COVID-19 pandemic and employed an online survey of University of Lynchburg students (N=176). Respondents reported that >90% wore a mask in public settings and that the people closest to them supported mask wearing (86.4%). In addition, 15.9% identified as high-risk for COVID-19 and 32.4% lived with someone who was high-risk. Although 73.3% said they socialized less since the pandemic onset, one-half (n=87) reported still attending social events. Of those 87 people, 21 reported not socially distancing and 22 said they never wore a mask at social events. Questions targeting COVID-19 attitudes demonstrated that the university's response was overcautious (33.5%), the media overexaggerated the pandemic severity (35.2%) and that mask wearing infringed upon personal rights (