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Fewer Americans saying coronavirus situation is improving: Gallup

People wait in line to get tested for COVID-19 at a mobile testing site in Times Square
Associated Press/Yuki Iwamura

A little less than a third of Americans now say they believe the COVID-19 pandemic is improving, according to a new Gallup poll released on Monday.

The survey of 4,034 U.S. adults found that only 31 percent said they believe the pandemic is getting a little or a lot better, a drop of 51 percentage points from when the survey was conducted in October.

Despite this sharp drop in the perception of the pandemic, personal worry about contracting COVID-19 remained the same, with 38 percent saying they were concerned to some degree. The majority of people surveyed, 62 percent, said they were not too worried or not at all worried about getting infected.

Self-reported social distancing behavior also remained relatively the same from October, with 46 percent saying they avoid large crowds, 40 percent said they avoided traveling, 29 percent saying they avoided public places and 21 percent saying they are avoiding small gatherings.

However, slightly more people appear to be wearing masks, with 70 percent reporting having worn one in the past week. The prevalence of mask-wearing dipped to a low of 60 percent in July. 

“Throughout the pandemic, Americans have been cognizant of changes in its severity, including this summer, as the highly contagious Delta variant swept through the country; this fall, as it tapered; and more recently, as the omicron variant emerged as a new threat. In each case, perceptions of whether the national situation was getting better or worse moved accordingly,” Gallup said in its report.

The Gallup poll was conducted Nov. 29 to Dec. 5 and had a margin or error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.

Tags COVID-19 pandemic Gallup Infectious diseases SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant
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