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Expand chart
Data: CDC; Chart: Jacque Schrag/Axios

While Americans reported heightened symptoms of anxiety and depression during the pandemic peaking last winter, their symptoms had improved by this past June, according to a new CDC study.

The big picture: Still, Americans reported their anxiety and depression symptoms are still higher than they were before the pandemic.

By the numbers: 1.2 million people were surveyed multiple times on a bi-weekly basis between the fall and winter of last year and then again between December 2020 and early June this year.

The average anxiety severity score increased 13% from late August to December 2020 and then decreased nearly 27% from December to late May and early June this year.

  • The average depression severity score increased nearly 15% and then decreased about 25% during the same time period.
  • Anxiety and depression severity scores are one and a half to two times what they were in 2019, the CDC data shows.

Yes, but: Increased access to mental health services must continue, the report warns, as many people are still struggling.

  • About a fifth of U.S. adults still experience high levels of psychological distress, per the Pew Research Center, especially adults under 29, those with lower income or adults with a disability or health conditions.

Go deeper

Updated 9 hours ago - World

Reports: Brazil leader to be accused of crimes against humanity over COVID

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. Photo: Andressa Anholete/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A Brazilian Senate panel will recommend President Jair Bolsonaro be charged with "crimes against humanity," alleging his COVID-19 pandemic response led to hundreds of thousands of deaths, per the New York Times and the Washington Post.

The latest: The lawmakers initially said Bolsonaro should be charged with mass homicide and genocide, but they updated the report to replace these recommendations with the new charge, its lead author, Sen. Renan Calheiros, told the NYT.

17 hours ago - Health

Puerto Rico leads U.S. COVID vaccination rates

A mass vaccination event at the Puerto Rico Convention Center in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on March 31. Photo: Ricardo Arduengo/AFP via Getty Images

Puerto Rico has the highest percentage of people fully vaccinated against the coronavirus in the United States as of Oct. 19, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Why it matters: The island has managed to accomplish such feats amid frequent power outages, earthquakes and high dependence on imports of health technologies from outside the region.

18 hours ago - Health

Supreme Court declines to block Maine health care workers vaccine mandate

A Maine health care worker prepares vaccine dose. Photo: Gregory Rec/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to hear an emergency appeal of a vaccine mandate for Maine health care workers.

The big picture: The mandate, which was announced in August by Democratic Gov. Janet Mills, says that Maine health care workers need to be vaccinated by Oct. 29 or risk losing their jobs and not qualifying for unemployment benefits.