In September, President Joe Biden declared in a television appearance that “the pandemic is over.” And while not many Americans tend to agree with his word choice, many agree in principle.
That’s according to a recent Monmouth University Poll, which found only one in five Americans would make the same kind of blanket statement about COVID-19.
Just 21% of the public polled in the study believed the COVID-19 pandemic was over, while 26% argued it was not over yet but would end eventually. A full half (50%) of the country felt the pandemic would never be over, and the public would just have to live with it.
That said, the poll found that most Americans believed it was time to retire pandemic-era restrictions, including mask and vaccine mandates.
“On the face of it, few Americans would declare the pandemic over, but that may just be a matter of semantics. If you listen to what the President said, he was referring to the idea that we no longer need to let COVID infringe on our daily routine. On that measure, most Americans agree with him,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.
Booster Shot Plans
Just one in three adults said they were very likely to get the new bivalent booster. Thirty-three percent said they would receive the shot, with 1% reporting they had already received it by the time of the poll.
That’s compared to 52% of who said they were very likely to get the extra shot when it was approved one year ago. The poll found 51% of adults reported having received one the prior boosters, which matched poll respondents’ intentions from the prior year.
Monmouth noted intent to get the new booster shot was lowest among Republicans (12%) and Independents (26%), but even Democrats were less likely to get the new shot—64% of Democrats said they would get a booster shot this year, with 2% saying they had already received one. That’s compared to the 80% who said they would get the original booster shot.
“These results are a huge warning sign for health officials who say we may need to get annual COVID shots. The public is not in the frame of mind for more COVID vaccines right now,” said Murray.
Ending Mandates for Masks, Vaccinations
Public support for requiring proof of vaccination to work in an office or around other people continued a trend of decline over the past 12 months, falling to only 35% of the population.
This was down seven percentage points from May, and down from a majority of 53% who supported such mandates in September 2021.
Masking generated even less popular results, with only 25% supporting either instituting or reinstituting face mask and social distance guidelines. This too was down seven percentage points in May, and from a majority of 63% supporting such measures in September 2021.
Nearly Half of U.S. Population has had Disease
“You can understand the drop in support for mask mandates since people want to get on with their lives, but the decline in support for vaccine mandates is interesting. I think it might be because people continue to get COVID despite being vaccinated,” opined Murray.
About 46% of U.S. adults have tested positive for COVID-19, according to the poll, rising from 35% in May and 27% in January.
The poll found little difference in reported COVID-19 prevalence by vaccination status, but noted earlier polls found a notable gap at the beginning of 2021.
COVID-19 cases (as of Oct. 21):
New daily PCR cases: 1419; Probable Cases: 690
Total Cases: 2,780,054 (2,353,621 PCR cases, 426,433 probable cases)
New Confirmed Deaths: 6 (6 probable deaths, 34,858 total deaths)
Rate of Transmission: 0.90, up from 0.89 the day before
Percent Positivity: 12.5% as of Oct. 16; by region, the rate was 13.8% in the North,13.3% in the Central region and 9.0% in the South
Bergen County: 162 New Cases, 84 Probable Cases, 3,245 deaths, 336 probable deaths
Essex County: 146 New Cases, 78 Probable Cases, 3,367 deaths, 312 probable deaths
Hudson County: 103 New Cases, 34 Probable Cases, 2,573 total deaths, 221 probable deaths
Morris County: 86 New Cases, 53 Probable Cases, 1,316 deaths, 306 probable deaths
Passaic County: 108 New Cases, 30 Probable Cases, 2,194 deaths, 206 probable deaths
Sussex County: 31 New Cases, 12 Probable Cases, 410 deaths, 97 probable deaths
Warren County: 14 New Cases, 13 Probable Cases, 325 deaths, 29 probable deaths
Hospitalizations: 896 (393 North; 229 Central; and 274 South)
Patients in intensive care units: 120
Patients on ventilators: 36
Patients discharged: 162
The state dashboard showed 60 of 71 hospitals in the state reporting
Long-term Care Facilities
Facilities currently reporting one case: 365 (3,305 overall)
Current number of residents: 8,176 (59,838 overall)
Current number of staffers: 6,463 (46,965 overall)
Number of Deaths: 9,746 overall (8,841 reported by facilities, 145 staff deaths)
Total number of COVID-19 vaccines administered in New Jersey: 14,857,545 (14,333,426 in-state, plus an additional 524,119 administered out-of-state)
Fully Vaccinated: 7,098,490 (6,883,871 in state and another 214,619 out of state). By county, 745,478 in Bergen County, 618,490 in Essex, 549,401 in Hudson, 398,689 in Morris, 371,434 in Passaic, 95,204 in Sussex, and 63,080 in Warren.
Booster Shots: 4,310,517 (2,383,088 Pfizer, 1,853,314 Moderna and 74,115 Johnson & Johnson)