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Poll: Majority of Americans Know Someone Who’s Had COVID-19

Coronavirus National Headlines

A medical worker takes a nasal swab sample from a student to test for COVID-19 at the Brooklyn Health Medical Alliance urgent care pop up testing site as infection rates spike on October 8, 2020 in New York City. – New York’s governor announced earlier in the week tough new restrictions in several areas recording high infection rates to try to ward off a second coronavirus wave. (Photo by Angela Weiss / AFP) (Photo by ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — A majority of American adults say they know someone who has been diagnosed with Covid-19, according to new data from the NBC News|SurveyMonkey Weekly Tracking Poll.

Sixty-eight percent of adults say they know someone who had the coronavirus since Dec. 2019, while 31 percent say they do not know someone who has been diagnosed with the virus. Thirty-four percent of adults say either they or someone in their household has been tested for the coronavirus in the past month, while 64 percent say that no one in their home has.

While older adults are more at risk to have severe symptoms from Covid-19, there was little difference across age demographics when a person was asked if they know someone who contracted the coronavirus. Sixty-five percent of adults between 18 and 34 know someone who had the virus, 71 percent of Americans aged 35-64 say the same, and in the most at-risk age category, 65 and older, 63 percent say they know someone who was diagnosed.

The data comes as America is experiencing a spike in coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths. The number of new daily coronavirus cases has stayed above 60,000 since Oct. 19, reaching a record-high of 79,303 on Oct. 23. Daily deaths have been increasing too, hitting a recent high of 1,245 on Oct. 21, according to NBC News data.

The national, seven-day average of current hospitalized cases is also on the rise, according to The COVID Tracking Project, with current hospitalizations hitting 41,776 on Oct. 25, the highest since late August.

Despite President Trump’s rhetoric that increased testing is to blame for the spike in cases across the U.S., there was nearly no discrepancy in people getting tested when the data are broken down by party.

Thirty-three percent of Republicans and Republican-leaners report that either they or someone in their household has been tested for Covid-19 in the last 30 days, 36 percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaners say the same. Thirty-four percent of independents say that they or someone in their home has been tested in the last month.

Sixty-six percent of Republican and Republican-leaners say they know someone who has been diagnosed, and 72 percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaners say they know someone who has contracted the disease. Sixty-one percent of independents say they know someone who has been diagnosed.

The same trend is true when it comes to a person’s income bracket and race.

Fifty-eight percent adults who make under $50,000 a year say they know someone who has been diagnosed with Covid-19, and 34 percent say they or someone in their home has been tested for the virus in the last month. For adults making between $50,000 and $99,999, 71 percent say they know someone who has been diagnosed and 33 percent say they or someone they live with has been tested in the last 30 days. And 78 percent of Americans making more than $100,000 a year say they know someone who has contracted Covid-19 and 37 percent of them say they or someone in their home has been tested in the last month.

Similarly, white adults report that 69 percent of them know someone who has been diagnosed with Covid-19, 34 percent say either they or someone in their home has been tested in the last 30 days. Sixty-seven percent of Black adults and 67 percent of Hispanic adults say they know someone who has contracted the virus, 36 percent of Black adults and 36 percent of Hispanic say they or someone in their home has been tested in the past month. Fifty-six percent of Asian adults say they know someone who has had the disease, and 32 percent say they or someone in their home has been tested in the last 30 days.

Other Covid-related numbers in the poll have remained stagnant — both as to how Americans view the virus and its effect on their lives, as well as how they view President Trump in relation to the virus.

Seventy-four percent of adults say the coronavirus has had a “very major” or “fairly major” effect on their daily lives — the same portion who felt that way when asked two weeks ago.

Forty-four percent of adults say they approve of Trump’s handling of the virus response, while 54 percent say they do not, a number that’s remained virtually unchanged over months of NBC News|SurveyMonkey polling.

And 53 percent of adults are more concerned businesses in their area are re-opening too quickly, compared to 43 percent who are more concerned about a slower re-opening, another number that’s remained stable in recent weeks since a tightening in those numbers emerged in September.

Data come from a set of SurveyMonkey online polls conducted October 19-25, 2020 among a national sample of 73,903 adults in the U.S. Respondents were selected from the more than 2 million people who take surveys on the SurveyMonkey platform each day. The modeled error estimate for this survey is plus or minus 1.0 percentage points. Data have been weighted for age, race, sex, education, and geography using the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey to reflect the demographic composition of the United States age 18 and over.

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