Despite Looming Variant Risk, Poll Finds Americans Growing Less Concerned
A new poll surveys Americans' feelings about returning to normal activities. Meanwhile, new cases continue to drop from January peaks but disease experts say infections from variants could halt progress.
Americans' Perceived Risk Of Covid-19 Is Lower Than Any Time Since October, Poll Finds
Americans' perception of risk from the coronavirus is the lowest it has been since October, a new poll has found. An Axios-Ipsos poll published Tuesday said 66% reported that they thought returning to pre-pandemic life now was a moderate risk or large risk. The poll was conducted February 5 to 8 and based on a nationally representative sample of 1,030 people age 18 and older. (Rogers and Thomas, 2/10)
The Wall Street Journal:
Brutal Covid-19 Surge In The U.S. Weakens Significantly
The most severe surge of the Covid-19 pandemic in the U.S. has weakened significantly, according to key metrics, though public-health experts and epidemiologists urge caution, given the spread of highly contagious new variants. Newly reported cases have dropped 56% over the past month, based on a seven-day average, marking a significantly steeper fall than the U.S. saw after the spring and summer surges. Hospitalizations have declined 38% since Jan 6. The seven-day average of Covid-19 tests returning positive fell over the past week to 6.93%, the lowest since Oct. 31. (Kamp and Ansari, 2/9)
Covid-19 Cases Are Falling. It Could Be A Calm Before A Variant-Driven Storm
If the U.S. Covid-19 epidemic were a marathon, the country might have made it to Mile 20. It’s been through a lot, and already, there are signs things are getting better. But there are building leg cramps that could make this last push, which isn’t actually all that short, really painful. (Joseph, 2/10)
In updates from California and Louisiana —
The New York Times:
California, Besieged By Virus For Months, Has Most Deaths In U.S.
Dozens of times a day in Covid-19 wards across California, a scene like this plays out: A hospital chaplain watches as a death is announced by machine. Kristin Michealsen, a hospital chaplain in Los Angeles, stood at a man’s bedside, holding his hand. His relatives gathered at their home just minutes from the hospital — they were not allowed into the hospital ward. The patient’s heart had just stopped. Ms. Michealsen, an ordained minister, had watched a computer monitor as she accompanied the man to the edge of his life. Eighty beats per minute. Sixty. Forty. (2/10)
New Orleans Times-Picayune:
Mardi Gras 2020 Spawned Up To 50K Coronavirus Cases, Likely From A Single Source, Study Says
Public health officials have largely accepted that last year's Mardi Gras helped make New Orleans an early coronavirus hotspot in the U.S., even if a lack of testing made it hard to be sure. But a new study that sought to pinpoint how the virus spread through the city has found that 2020 Carnival revelry was responsible for tens of thousands of coronavirus cases, after a single person likely brought it to New Orleans in the weeks before Mardi Gras. Researchers at the Scripps Research Institute, Tulane University, LSU Health Shreveport and several other institutions said in a pre-publication report released Monday that the coronavirus probably arrived in New Orleans about two weeks before Fat Tuesday, likely from a person traveling from Texas. (Woodruff, 2/9)