Concerns About Coronavirus Are On The Rise Again

Few Americans say they're back to living normally or are ready to do away with all restrictions, a new HuffPost/YouGov poll finds.

Americans’ concerns about the coronavirus pandemic, which fell substantially from April to June, are now rising again, a new HuffPost/YouGov survey finds.

Forty-eight percent of Americans now say they’re very worried about the spread of coronavirus in the U.S., up from 36% at the beginning of last month although still shy of the peak level of concern reported in early April.

Throughout the past month, the virus has made unwelcome inroads into the nation’s red states, but the shift in concern appears to be driven largely by Democrats. Roughly three-quarters of Democrats, 73%, now say they’re very concerned, up from 50% who said the same at the start of June. The level of similar concerns among the GOP remained roughly stable ― 21% were very concerned in the June poll and 25% in the latest. 

Geographically, concern rose most sharply among residents of states in the West, from 31% who were very concerned in June to 52% in the latest poll, putting that region on a par with the hard-hit Northeast. There was also a notable uptick in concern among suburbanites, with the share who call themselves very concerned rising from one-third to 55%. 

Just 13% of Americans say there shouldn’t be any coronavirus-related restrictions in place where they live. Twenty-eight percent say there should be restrictions on a few nonessential businesses and activities, with most allowed to be open; 30% think most should be closed with a few reopened, and 20% think all nonessential businesses and activities should be shut down. Eighteen percent of Americans say there are too many restrictions where they live, with 40% saying the restrictions are at about the right level, and 34% say that there are not enough restrictions in place.

Most Americans also say they’re continuing to take precautions against coronavirus in their own lives, although the precise results depend significantly on how the question is framed. To test this, respondents were asked two different questions. When asked a binary question ― whether or not they were “trying to stay at home as much as possible” ― they say, 70% to 22%, that they are. The other question contained a middle option (that they were “choosing to go out sometimes” but “taking precautions”). Asked this question, 41% say that they’re staying home as much as possible, 40% that they’re going out sometimes but taking precautions and 16% that they’re “living as normally as possible.”

Regardless of the framing, most of the public is still feeling the effects of the pandemic. An 84% majority say their daily life has changed at least a little in comparison to how they lived pre-coronavirus, and about two-thirds believe the outbreak will have a lasting effect.

Opinions of the government response, meanwhile, remain generally negative: 38% approve of the way the U.S. government has handled coronavirus-related issues, with 51% disapproving. Forty percent approve of President Donald Trump’s response, with 53% disapproving.

Use the widget below to further explore the results of the HuffPost/YouGov survey, using the menu at the top to select survey questions and the buttons at the bottom to filter the data by subgroups.


The HuffPost/YouGov poll consisted of 1,000 completed interviews conducted July 3-6 among U.S. adults, using a sample selected from YouGov’s opt-in online panel to match the demographics and other characteristics of the adult U.S. population.

HuffPost has teamed up with YouGov to conduct daily opinion polls. You can learn more about this project and take part in YouGov’s nationally representative opinion polling. More details on the polls’ methodology are available here.

Most surveys report a margin of error that represents some but not all potential survey errors. YouGov’s reports include a model-based margin of error, which rests on a specific set of statistical assumptions about the selected sample rather than the standard methodology for random probability sampling. If these assumptions are wrong, the model-based margin of error may also be inaccurate.

CORRECTION: This story previously said that only half of the poll’s respondents saw each question about their behavior due to the coronavirus pandemic. All respondents saw both questions.

 A HuffPost Guide To Coronavirus