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Half of Americans in new poll say they know someone who has tested positive for COVID-19

Half of Americans in new poll say they know someone who has tested positive for COVID-19
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Fifty percent of Americans surveyed for new Axios-Ipsos polling said they know someone who has tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

The percentage is nearly identical across regions, with 51 percent of respondents in the Midwest and the South knowing someone who has tested positive, as well as 49 percent in the Northeast and 47percent  in the West. Along party lines, 55 percent of Democrats polled said they know someone who has tested positive, compared to 49 percent of Republicans and 44 percent of independents.

A smaller but significant portion of Americans surveyed — 20 percent — said they know someone who has died from the virus. The same percentage said they themselves have been tested. A quarter of respondents also said they know a member of their community who has tested positive.

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Despite the broad cross section of the population with a personal connection to the pandemic, partisanship around the virus persists, Cliff Young, president of Ipsos U.S. Public Affairs, told Axios.

“The coronavirus is becoming reality for most people and it will only increase," Young said. “You still might find large partisan differences, differences in the perceptions of its lethality. It is a shared experience, but that doesn't mean everyone will deal with it in the same way."

The new survey found large majorities of both parents and non-parents saying they are concerned about the prospect of children returning to in-person school too soon. However, parents were slightly less concerned, at 67 percent, than non-parents, at 74 percent. Eight percent of parents with children under 18 say their children have already resumed in-person classes, compared to 19 percent who have resumed distance learning.

The poll also found the potential risk of the virus in elevators may factor into any return to the office for high-risk workplaces. Seventy-four percent of respondents consider an elevator with multiple people in it a moderate to large risk. A larger partisan gap exists on the question, with 97 percent of Democrats, 75 percent of independents and 60 percent of Republicans calling elevators risky.

Pollsters surveyed 1,076 adults between Aug. 7-10. The poll has a 3.1-point margin of error.