Many Americans have taken significant steps back from once-routine coronavirus precautions, with less than half now saying they regularly wear face masks, avoid crowds and skip nonessential travel.
Americans are letting down their guard even as experts warn a new wave of COVID-19 cases is coming. A new poll from the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research shows fewer people taking protective measures than at any point in AP-NORC polls conducted since early 2021.
The poll found 44 percent say they often or always wear a face mask around people outside of their homes, down from 65 percent in January when infections of the highly contagious omicron variant were soaring. Just 40 percent say they’re largely avoiding nonessential travel, compared with 60 percent in January. And 47 percent say they regularly stay away from large groups, down from 65 percent in January.
Most Americans say they at least sometimes still follow those safeguards. But they’re increasingly returning to pre-pandemic norms as coronavirus infections have fallen to their lowest level since July. (AP)