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Americans' coronavirus fears spike: poll

Americans' coronavirus fears spike: poll
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Americans’ fears surrounding the coronavirus that has rocked public life in the U.S. have spiked, according to a poll released Thursday. 

The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found the number of Americans at least somewhat concerned that they or a loved one would be infected by COVID-19 reached 66 percent. In a February poll, 45 percent of Americans expressed that level of concern.

But the poll also unveiled that 3 in 10 say they are not worried at all about the coronavirus, which hints that governments are not doing enough to contain the virus. 

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The younger population is more likely to be concerned than older Americans, with 43 percent of adults under 30 and 21 percent of those 60 and older being very worried. Caroline Pearson, a senior vice president at NORC, said this could be because of worries about jobs, health care and their parents and grandparents.

Following the worldwide trend, 4 of 5 fatalities from COVID-19 in the U.S. have occurred in adults 65 years old or older, while there have been zero deaths in children, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported. 

About 90 percent of respondents said they are washing their hands more, about 7 in 10 are avoiding large groups and about 6 in 10 are avoiding touching their faces.

Libby Richards, a Purdue University nursing professor, said health officials need to hold onto the 3 in 10 Americans who say they are highly worried “if we’re going to keep this under control as much as possible.”

The pandemic has led to schools, sporting events, restaurants and casinos being closed across the country.

But 22 percent of those with domestic travel plans and 41 percent of those with international travel plans have canceled them.

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The poll was conducted between March 12 and 16, which the pollsters noted was when information about the virus was changing rapidly. President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden to move ahead with billion UAE weapons sale approved by Trump Fox News hires high-profile defense team in Dominion defamation lawsuit Associate indicted in Gaetz scandal cooperating with DOJ: report MORE declared a national emergency because of the pandemic on March 13.

The poll surveyed 1,003 adults from a sample drawn from NORC’s probability based AmeriSpeak Panel which intends to be representative of the U.S. population. The margin of error was 4.3 percentage points.

The U.S. has documented more than 10,400 infections and 150 deaths in the country, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The data shows 106 people in the U.S. have recovered.