In this study of Google Trends, researchers examined how collective attention and information-seeking behaviors respond to state government announcements of COVID-19 cases.
Announcements of first local cases of COVID-19 heightened collective attention to the pandemic; however, information seeking faded within two weeks, even with new announcements of mitigation strategies (e.g., school closures). Government information disclosure does help focus public attention on the crisis, but that increased attention is short-lived. Additionally, people mainly react by seeking information on what they can and should personally do as opposed to community-level policies. These results can provide officials with information on what and how to disclosure future information.