COVID-19 cases continue to decline in the U.S., but the new stealth Omicron variant accounts for around a third of the new cases reported in the country as of last week. As the new variant emerges and drives up cases across the globe, CivicScience data show Americans are overall slightly more concerned about stealth Omicron than they were last week, but still less concerned than they were about Omicron and Delta when the variants started to spread.

Despite an increase in concern about the new stealth Omicron variant, concern about being in public spaces remains relatively low this week.

Continuing this trend, comfort resuming normal activities increased this week for all measured categories. Comfort returning to work showed the lowest increase (+1pp), likely a continued impact of rising gas prices hindering people’s willingness to commute. 

As of last Friday, Hawaii was the last state in the U.S. to drop its mask mandate and many Americans are relaxing their own practices. New CivicScience survey results show that most people agree that masks should still be required on airplanes (55%) and public transit (54%). Fewer people see the need for masks in restaurants (23%) and retail stores (29%).

Stealth Omicron and rising gas prices continue not to hinder people’s plans to travel this spring.

Data tracking restaurant spending intent shows that an increasing percentage of U.S. adults are planning to order takeout / delivery from restaurants rather than dine in.

Restaurant spending is definitely a possible casualty of the current gas price hike. Increased plans for takeout may be at least partly due to rising gas prices – those who plan to order takeout are 5x more likely than those who plan to dine in to be driving a lot less than they normally would right now.

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