Slightly more than half of US adults – 54% – now say that they know someone who has been hospitalized or died due to Covid-19, according to a new survey from the Pew Research Center.
It’s a drastic uptick since late May, when a previous Pew survey found that just 20% of Americans knew someone who’d been hospitalized or died due to Covid-19. The results reflect how rapidly coronavirus cases continue to surge across the US, which has recorded over 14.2 million cases.
The newest survey was conducted between November 18 and 29 and included 12,648 respondents. As of the first day the survey was conducted, there were around 11.5 million cases of Covid-19 reported in the US. Nearly 3 million cases have been added since.
The survey results, released Thursday, also found some racial disparities in who Covid-19 is affecting: 71% of Black Americans are likely to say they know someone who has been hospitalized or died as a result of Covid-19, compared with 61% of Hispanic, 49% of White and 48% of Asian-American adults.
Pew also surveyed respondents about their mask-wearing habits. About 72% of US adults said it bothers them a lot or some when people in public don’t wear masks. Far fewer – about 28% – said it bothers them when a store requires them to wear a mask.
Most Americans – about 60% – said they’d get a Covid-19 vaccine if it were available today, according to Pew. That’s almost a 10-point increase from the September survey, when 51% of respondents said they’d be willing to get vaccinated. Still, about four in 10 people say they definitely or probably wouldn’t be willing to get a coronavirus vaccine.
The survey shows that trust in the vaccine development process has increased in recent weeks, likely due to the successful trials of Moderna and Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccines, which early data found to be 94.5% and 95% effective, respectively. Vaccine rollout is expected to begin this month, with health care workers and older adults in long-term care facilities first in line.
Pew has been conducting Covid-19 surveys since mid-March, when there were just over 1,200 cases in the US. Since then, over 277,000 people in the US have died due to the virus.