Nearly 9 in 10 now know someone who's gotten COVID-19: poll

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(The Hill) — Nearly nine in 10 people in a new poll said they personally know someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, illustrating how widely the virus has spread over almost two years in the U.S.

The poll, conducted by Axios and Ipsos, found that 88% personally know someone in the U.S who has tested positive for COVID-19. Only 11% of respondents said they do not personally know someone who has tested positive for the virus.

Axios and Ipsos conducted the poll between Jan. 7-10.

The month marked the largest percentage of respondents who said they personally know someone who has tested positive for the virus. Axios and Ipsos have been asking adults that question at least once a month since March 2020, the same month the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic.

The number, however, has fluctuated over the roughly two years of the pandemic, both rising and falling from month to month. For example, 82% of respondents said they personally knew someone who tested positive for the virus in late May, but that number dropped to 75% in mid-July.

The poll results come as the U.S. is seeing a nationwide surge in COVID-19 cases, driven in part by the highly transmissible omicron variant. The U.S. recorded a record 1.35 million new COVID-19 cases on Monday, marking the highest daily infection count of the pandemic.

Early data, however, suggests that the omicron variant may cause less severe illness in fully vaccinated individuals compared to previous strains. Recent death counts have remained lower than previous waves of the pandemic.

Hospitalizations, however, are creeping up. More than 136,000 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 on Monday, which broke the previous record of 132,051 that was set in January of last year.

Health experts are warning that while omicron infections may be less severe compared to previous variants, the large number of cases could strain hospital systems.

The Axios/Ipsos survey polled 1,054 adults. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.2 percentage points.

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