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Half of voters want COVID-19 restrictions and safety measures to tighten if hospitalizations continue to rise in their area, a new Hill-HarrisX poll finds.

Forty-nine percent of registered voters in the Nov. 29-30 survey said restrictions should increase if hospitalizations continue, while 31 percent of respondents said safety measures stay about the same and 20 percent said things should return to pre-pandemic levels.

Forty percent of voters said restrictions should ramp up if cases increase in their area, while 39 percent said it should stay the same and 21 percent said things should return to pre-pandemic levels.

The survey results come after the announcement of the new omicron coronavirus variant first discovered in South Africa. There is still little information known about the new variant, but the initial picture that is emerging of the strain is that it does not causes as severe of disease as other variants, though it may be much more transmissible. 

On Sunday, Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said the U.S. will “hopefully” be able to lift its travel ban on southern African countries “in a quite reasonable period of time” as more information emerges regarding omicron.

The Hill-HarrisX poll was conducted online among 924 registered voters between Nov. 29 and 30. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.2 percentage points. 

Gabriela Schulte

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