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Data: Ipsos/Axios survey, case data from The COVID Tracking Project; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

People in mostly red states where coronavirus cases have been rising the fastest are developing a heightened sense of risk and taking steps to dial back their exposure, according to the latest installment of the Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

Why it matters: A much lower-than-expected turnout last weekend for President Trump's rally in Tulsa is consistent with the broader trend we're seeing in Week 14 of our national poll.

What they're saying: "In the places with the highest rates of increase, people are adjusting their behavior," said Cliff Young, president of Ipsos U.S. Public Affairs. "The more proximate it is, the greater the likelihood they adjust their behavior."

  • Young said researchers have been watching the trends to better understand how much of the behavior is driven by partisanship versus geography and proximity to the illness.
  • From Axios focus groups we know that many people are paying closer attention to local news and guidelines than the national picture.
  • "I think a lot of what's been going on is less a political thing — although people really take their cues from politicians — than, basically, many of the less affected places are more red, and now that they are more affected people are indeed adjusting."

Between the lines: One measure — whether people feel safe to get a hair cut at a salon — could be a new barometer for how safe the public feels.

In the states where new cases climbed by 50% or more last week, populations that had been leaning into visits with friends or getting their hair cut are now pulling back compared with Americans in states that were hit harder earlier on.

  • In states with the highest rates of increase, the share of people visiting with friends dropped from 52% to 44% (-8) over the last two weeks.
  • Meanwhile, those visiting with friends actually rose to 46% (+6) in states with more modest infection rate increases, as well as 51% (+5) in states where infection rates are decreasing.

In states with the biggest jumps in new coronavirus cases, people pulled back on visits to hair salons and barbershops, dropping from 19% to 13% (-6) in the last two weeks.

  • In the states with modest infection growth, the salon rate stayed flat, at 18%. And those getting their hair done climbed from 10% to 19% (+9) in the states where the new coronavirus case rate is decreasing.
  • Those in the states with the highest infection growth didn't curb all of their re-engagement. Going out to eat increased slightly. And those saying they are socially distancing fell slightly, though that term means different things to different people and is sometimes confused with self-quarantining.

The states with the highest percentage jumps in cases last week (June 9-16) included Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina and Wyoming, according to The COVID Tracking Project.

  • Ipsos compared the behaviors of survey respondents living in those states with respondents who live in more than a dozen states, including California, Georgia and Texas, where the case rates also rose last week but at smaller rates.
  • And they examined the behaviors of respondents from states including New York, Pennsylvania and Michigan, where rates of new cases have been declining.

The big picture: These patterns are playing out comes as Americans across the nation brace for a resurgence in infections.

  • 85% worry about a second wave.
  • 70% now say going back to their "normal" pre-coronavirus life would be a large to moderate risk, up from 64% a week earlier and 57% two weeks ago.
  • 71% worry their community will reopen too soon, also the highest share in a month.

Between the lines: Americans are looking to institutions they trust for cues about how to behave. About eight in 10 said they would stay home and avoid others if either the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or their governor told them to, or if local cases spiked, hospitals reported being full or people they knew tested positive.

Methodology: This Axios/Ipsos Poll was conducted June 19-22 by Ipsos' KnowledgePanel®. This poll is based on a nationally representative probability sample of 1,023 general population adults age 18 or older.

  • The margin of sampling error is ±3.3 percentage points at the 95% confidence level, for results based on the entire sample of adults.

Go deeper

Sep 30, 2020 - Health

COVID-19 cases on the rise among U.S. children

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

An increasing number of COVID-19 cases among school-aged children across the U.S. throughout September may be linked to school reopenings and other community activities resuming.

Driving the news: The American Academy of Pediatrics reported this week that children of all ages make up 10% of U.S cases, up from 2% in April, per AP. As of Monday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention counted more than 435,000 cases among children ages 0–17, and 93 deaths.

CDC: 3,689 COVID-19 or coronavirus-like cases found on cruise ships in U.S.

Cruise Ships docked in April at the port at Marina Long Beach due to a no-sail order in Long Beach, in California. Photo: Apu Gomes/AFP via Getty Images

There have been at least 3,689 COVID-19 or coronavirus-like illness cases on cruise ships in U.S. waters, "in addition to at least 41 reported deaths," the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said late Wednesday.

Driving the news: The CDC released the data from the period of March 1 through Sept. 29 in an emailed statement confirming the extension of a no-sail order for cruise ships through Oct. 31, as first reported by Axios' Jonathan Swan on Tuesday in his article revealing CDC director Robert Redfield was overruled in a push to extend the order into 2021.

Oct 1, 2020 - Health

Moderna says its coronavirus vaccine won't be ready until 2021

A laboratory technician preparing a blood sample for a vaccine clinical trial sponsored by Moderna. Photo: Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel said Wednesday that his company's coronavirus vaccine won't be available for widespread distribution until at least spring 2021, according to Financial Times.

Why it matters: Bancel told FT that the drugmaker will not seek emergency authorization for FDA approval for its vaccine for front-line medical workers and at-risk individuals until Nov. 25 at the earliest.

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