On December 31, 2019 in Wuhan, China the first cases of a new Coronavirus were reported. Over the span of two months, the virus – also known as COVID-19 to public health experts – has spread beyond Wuhan, across China, and around the world. On January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the Coronavirus outbreak a public health emergency of international concern, only the 6th declaration of its kind in WHO history. Subsequently, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared it a public health emergency for the United States on January 31, 2020.
The February KFF Health Tracking Poll gauged the public’s knowledge of and concerns about the Coronavirus in addition to exploring public opinion on how the outbreak is being addressed by the U.S. government.