Concerns about contracting COVID-19 fall as omicron fades: poll
Concerns about contracting COVID-19 are fading among the public as the omicron wave declines.
A new Associated Press-NORC poll finds just 24 percent of U.S. adults were extremely or very worried about themselves or a family member catching COVID-19, down from 36 percent in December and January.
The results come as the country is shifting in many ways toward treating the virus less like a crisis and more like a problem to be managed.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued long-awaited guidance on Friday that said roughly 70 percent of the U.S. population is now in areas where masking is no longer a recommendation.
President Biden will give his State of the Union address on Tuesday, an opportunity to reset some of the messaging around the virus for a new phase.
Coinciding with the new CDC guidance, masks will no longer be required in the House chamber for the address.
A wide range of governors had already announced the lifting of masks mandates before the new guidance.
Still, the poll finds that 50 percent of adults support “requiring Americans to wear face masks when they’re around other people outside their homes.” Twenty-two percent had no opinion and 28 percent opposed the idea.
The 50 percent support is down from 75 percent in December 2020, though.
There is a deep partisan split, with 77 percent of Democrats, 43 percent of independents and 22 percent of Republicans supporting the mask requirements.
The poll of 1,289 U.S. adults was conducted Feb. 18-21, with a margin of error of 3.7 percentage points.