Top 5 Takeaways

  1. Perception vs Reality: Half of the surveyed adults in Michigan and Illinois who had recent SARS-CoV-2 infections perceived local COVID-19 transmission as low or moderate, despite high actual transmission rates.
  2. Behavioral Impact: Higher perceived local COVID-19 transmission correlated with increased adoption of preventive behaviors like mask-wearing, limiting travel, and avoiding crowds.
  3. Demographic Variations: Perceived transmission levels varied across age groups, education levels, and vaccine doses received, influencing preventive behavior.
  4. Communication and Policy: The study emphasizes the need for continuous monitoring of public perceptions and their impact on preventive behaviors to inform communication strategies and policy-making.
  5. Study Limitations: The study, however, is limited by potential bias due to its nonrandom sample and the possibility of over-reported preventive behaviors.

Original Article Author and Citation

Corresponding Author

Mark É. Czeisler, .

Suggested Citation

Czeisler MÉ, Lane RI, Orellana RC, et al. Perception of Local COVID-19 Transmission and Use of Preventive Behaviors Among Adults with Recent SARS-CoV-2 Infection — Illinois and Michigan, June 1–July 31, 2022. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2022;71:1471–1478. DOI:


The study focused on the perception of local COVID-19 transmission and its influence on preventive behaviors among adults in Illinois and Michigan. Despite high actual transmission rates, only half of the participants perceived the local transmission as high. This perception significantly influenced their preventive measures.


The research involved surveys of adults in Michigan and Illinois who had recent positive SARS-CoV-2 test results. The study examined the correlation between their perception of local COVID-19 transmission and the frequency of preventive behaviors.


Findings highlighted the discrepancy between perceived and actual transmission rates and its impact on preventive actions. The study suggests that public health communication strategies need to address this perception gap to encourage more protective behaviors.


The study underscores the importance of continuous monitoring and understanding of public perceptions of local COVID-19 transmission levels. This understanding is crucial for guiding effective communication strategies and policy-making to promote protective behaviors during the ongoing pandemic.


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