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A girl celebrates Easter in Saint Patrick's Cathedral on April 4, 2021 in New York City. Photo: Jeenah Moon/Getty Images

A new Pew Research survey found that only 27% of adults in the U.S. planned on attending an in-person Easter service this year, a 17 point drop from a group that otherwise would have reported 44% church attendance, NBC News reports.

Why it matters: Although the U.S. has ramped up its vaccination rates and many states are preparing for reopening, rituals of normal life—including religious holiday celebrations—continue to be hobbled by the pandemic.

Details: Though more churches are now conducting services than in July 2020, many still require public health restrictions, the survey founds.

  • Only 17% of churches are conducting no services, compared to 31% last July.
  • 64% of churches are open with COVID-19 restrictions, up from 55% in July.
  • Only 12% are open for normal services, up from 6% last July.

The big picture: In 2020, the number of Americans who said they belonged to a religious congregation fell a historic low of 47%, per a Gallup poll released Tuesday.

  • It is the first time that congregation membership—be it in a church, mosque, or synagogue—has dropped below the 50% mark.

Go deeper

Apr 4, 2021 - World

France cuts economic growth forecast as it enters third COVID lockdown

Photo: Chesnot/Getty Images)

France is cutting it's GDP growth forecast to 5% from 6% as the country enters a four-week national lockdown aimed at slowing a recent surge in COVID-19 cases, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: The lockdown, France's third since the start of the pandemic, comes amid a surge in new COVID-19 cases across much of Europe that has seen some countries reimpose restrictions.

Apr 4, 2021 - Health

Infectious diseases expert: U.S. is "at the beginning" of a fourth COVID-19 surge

Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, warned on Sunday that the U.S. is at the precipice of a fourth surge of the coronavirus.

Why it matters: Data shows the U.S. may be at the start of a fourth wave that would foster the growth of new variants, which would likely be less susceptible to existing vaccines. A fourth surge would almost certainly be less deadly than the previous three, thanks to widespread vaccination of the elderly.

Updated Sep 17, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: Key FDA committee takes on the big booster question — Los Angeles County to require vaccination proof at indoor bars — France suspends 3,000 unvaccinated health workers without pay.
  2. Health: Worsening crisis at Rikers Island jail spurs call for action — 1 in 500 Americans has died — Cases are falling, but deaths are rising.
  3. Politics: White House invites call with Nicki Minaj to discuss vaccine — Gottlieb says CDC hampered U.S. response — 26 states have limited state or local officials' public health powers.
  4. Education: Denver looks to students to close Latino vaccination gap — Federal judge temporarily blocks Iowa's ban on mask mandates in schools — Massachusetts activates National Guard to help with school transportation.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.