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.

According to the report, 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. 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.

Source: REUTERS/Nick Oxford

As it stands, the poll found 44% say they often or always wear a face mask around people outside of their homes, down from 65% in January when infections of the highly contagious omicron variant were soaring. Just 40% say they’re largely avoiding nonessential travel, compared with 60% in January. And 47% say they regularly stay away from large groups, down from 65% in January.

The poll also shows that over the past two months the vaccinated and unvaccinated alike have become less likely to regularly take those precautions. Likewise, both Democrats and Republicans are less likely than they were in January to say they frequently take protective measures.

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Rhea Sovani

Author Rhea Sovani

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