**FILE** Courtesy of cdc.gov

Blacks and Latinos appear to be more cautious in their approach to the coronavirus than whites, according to a recent poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

The poll reveals Blacks (63%) and Latinos (68%) say they are more likely than whites (45%) to say they are at least a little worried about themselves or a family member getting infected by the coronavirus, The Associated Press reported. Seventy-one percent of Blacks say they favor requiring face masks for people traveling on planes, trains and other types of public transportation while 52% of whites support mask mandates for travelers and 29% oppose them.

Among Latinos, 59% support mask mandates for travelers, and 20% are against it. The poll was conducted before a Florida federal judge nixed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s extension of the travel mask mandate to May 3.

The poll emerges as many federal, state and local coronavirus rules are giving way to a sense of pre-pandemic normalcy. While the majority of Americans support mask mandates to fight the coronavirus, public health experts said divided opinions among racial groups show not only unequal impact of the pandemic on people of color but also apathy among some whites, AP reported.

Amelia Burke-Garcia, public health area director at NORC, said throughout the pandemic, Black and brown communities have experienced higher rates of illness and death from the coronavirus. The traumatic experiences have generated anxiety and stress regarding the virus and leads members of these groups to be more cautious in dealing with it.

“We’ve seen these trends endure throughout the entire pandemic,” Burke-Garcia said, AP reported. “What we’re seeing now as mitigation measures are being rolled back is there’s still great concern amongst Black Americans and Hispanic Americans around the risk of getting sick.”

The poll was conducted among 1,085 adults from April 14-18 using a sample drawn from NORC’s probability-based AmeriSpeak Panel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. population. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.9%.

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