Following the CDC's advice is especially important for seniors because they have a higher risk of dying from Covid-19 if they get it.
The study researchers used self-reported data from the National Health and Aging Trends Study, conducted from June to October 2020, which asked about eight different risk-mitigation behaviors. The survey included nearly 3,000 community-dwelling urban and rural seniors.
The researchers found that seniors' compliance with each of the eight behaviors to limit the spread of Covid-19 was high, but rural seniors were less likely to report compliance on five: social distancing, limiting gatherings, avoiding restaurants and bars, not touching their faces, and avoiding contact with those outside their households.
However, after the data were adjusted for demographic characteristics, only maintaining a six-foot distance remained lower among rural seniors to a statistically significant degree. There were no rural-urban differences when it came to mask wearing, handwashing and limiting shopping.
Still, the researchers said their findings suggested the need for rural-specific messaging when it comes to such public-health emergencies.