The Mountain West has seen the largest increase in mask-wearing over the last few months than any other region, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.
The survey showed that the number of adults in the Mountain West who said they wore masks into stores and other businesses increased from 52% in early June to 85% in mid-August.
Stephanie Kramer wrote about those findings for Pew, and she says that sort of change is massive.
"It's surprising to see a huge increase in anything in a couple of months," she said.
Nationwide, 85% of U.S. adults told Pew they now wear masks most or all of the time inside businesses. That’s up 20% since June.
The survey also shows that more young people are wearing masks and a political divide over them has shrunk.
"Now we see about three quarters of Republicans wearing masks and 92% of Democrats," Kramer said. "So, a 23 percentage point gap down to 16 points in a short period of time.”
There were big changes in the last few months, though, as COVID-19 reached more rural areas, more stores started requiring masks, and more Republican leaders, including the president, urged people to wear them.
This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUNR in Nevada, the O'Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West in Montana, KUNC in Colorado, KUNM in New Mexico, with support from affiliate stations across the region. Funding for the Mountain West News Bureau is provided in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.