Gallup Poll Shows COVID-19 Concerns Have Dropped to Lowest Level in a Year

Kimberly Redmond  |

Image source: CVS Health Corp

Concerns about contracting COVID-19 are at the lowest level in a year, according to a new poll by Gallup.

In a poll released Thursday, just 30% of Americans expressed worry about becoming infected with the virus, the lowest figure since Gallup began tracking public sentiment regarding the pandemic in April 2020.

According to Gallup, the percentage of people who said they were worried about contracting the virus is 5 percentage points lower than it was in March and 19 points lower than in February. 

The highest reading – 59% – was recorded last summer, but it was nearly as high (57%) at the end of 2020, the survey found.

Despite rising vaccination rates and a downward trend in virus-related infections and deaths, Americans are still concerned about the country’s efforts to contain COVID-19.

69% of those polled said they believe the COVID-19 situation is getting better, a drop of 17 percentage points from the previous poll. 18% said the situation is saying the same, while 14% said it is getting worse.

Many people have also begun to relax their social distancing behaviors, the poll found.

30% of Americans now say they are completely or mostly isolating from people outside their household, down 8 percentage points from March and the lowest reading since a year ago, when as many as 75% were doing so.

The majority of people surveyed said they still avoid events with large crowds (60%) and travel by airplane, bus and subway or train (55%) in the past week, while fewer have skipped public spaces such as stores or restaurants (44%) and small gatherings with family or friends (37%).

Face mask use remains high, however, as 86% said they have worn one outside their home in the past week, a slight decrease from the 91% peak recorded in late 2020 and early 2021.

In an analysis accompanying the survey, Gallup said, “Several events that occurred during the April poll's field period may explain the modest decline since March in perceptions the situation is getting better.”

“The daily vaccination count in the U.S. began to decline after peaking earlier in the month. Additionally, the temporary pause of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) due to safety concerns took effect the week prior to the start of the poll and was lifted shortly before the survey ended. By April, concerns about multiple variants of the disease continued to mount and India plunged into a deep crisis, recording the world's biggest one-day surge in new COVID-19 cases,” the analysis read.

The poll surveyed 3,731 adults from April 19 to 25 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.

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