Mar 23, 2020 - Health

College students are still going out despite coronavirus warnings

Data: College Reaction; Note: Margin of error of ±3.1 percentage points; Chart: Axios Visuals

More than half of college students say either they or their friends have gone to bars, parties, restaurants or other social gatherings in the last week, according to a new College Reaction poll.

Why it matters: The findings underscore how messages from political leaders and health authorities about the critical importance of social distancing to slow the spread of the virus haven't taken hold with younger Americans.

  • The poll doesn’t define “friends,” so when college students say their friends have gone out, it’s ambiguous how many students are talking about close friends vs. mere acquaintances. 
  • But 27% percent of respondents indicated they’d been out socially, either alone or with their friends — an indicator of how prevalent these attitudes are. 

Between the lines: The numbers stand in contrast to the 90% of students who say they're concerned about transmitting the virus to the elderly and immunocompromised population.

  • CDC research shows that young Americans comprise a significant share of the population infected by coronavirus, even if they don't have acute symptoms. But being a carrier means they can transmit the virus to those more vulnerable.

Methodology: The poll was conducted March. 19-21 from a representative sample of 966 college students with a margin of error of +/- 3.1%.

College Reaction’s polling is conducted using a demographically representative panel of college students from around the country. The surveys are administered digitally and use college e-mail addresses as an authentication tool to ensure current enrollment in a four-year institution. The target for the general population sample was students currently enrolled in accredited 4-year institutions in the United States.

Go deeper

CDC launches hospitalization and coronavirus fatality trackers

A medical worker at Wyckoff Hospital in Brooklyn on April 4. Photo: Bryan R. Smith/AFP via Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention launched two new national tracking tools for the novel coronavirus in the U.S. on Saturday — one to monitor fatalities and another for hospitalizations.

Why it matters: The coronavirus testing kit shortage has challenged public health experts' ability to understand the scope of the outbreak in the U.S., NPR reports. States have scrambled to produce their own systems and monitor the data.

Go deeperArrowApr 4, 2020 - Health

Virus vices take a toll on Americans

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Americans are doubling down on their worst habits to cope with the mental and emotional stress of the coronavirus pandemic.

Why it matters: The pandemic will have a long-lasting impact on the health of the American people, in part due to the habits they'll pick up during the weeks and months they're forced to stay home.

Go deeperArrow18 hours ago - Health

How the coronavirus is upending childbirth

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Expectant mothers are facing some daunting new realities amid the coronavirus outbreak.

What's happening: Some doctors, especially in areas that haven't seen large numbers of cases yet, are encouraging women to induce their labor. That can help keep mothers and babies out of the hospital later, when the risk of a coronavirus infection will be higher, and also helps free up beds that may be needed for COVID-19 patients.

Go deeperArrowApr 4, 2020 - Health