Health Care

Majority of adults call for local mask mandates: poll

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A majority of adults said local, state and federal health officials should implement mask mandates for public spaces, according to a poll released Wednesday, as the COVID-19 delta variant continues to wreak havoc in states across the country.

A Politico-Morning Consult poll determined that 69 percent of American adults supported local mask requirements, while 31 percent said local officials should avoid mask mandates. 

Supporters of a local mandate differed on whether they wanted it to apply outdoors — 35 percent said masks should only be required indoors, while 34 percent said officials mandate masks indoors and outdoors. 

A person’s political affiliation appeared to affect whether they agreed with local mask mandates. A majority of Republicans, 52 percent, said they were against mask mandates, compared to 10 percent of Democrats.  

Support for mask requirements was consistent at state and federal levels, with 69 percent and 68 percent backing state and federal officials to institute mask requirements in public settings, respectively.

The poll came about a week after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended fully vaccinated people wear masks in public indoor settings in high-risk areas.

Out of all adults, 58 percent said they were willing to wear masks “always” or “most of the time” in indoor spaces, while almost a quarter, 25 percent, said they’ll “rarely” or “never” don masks.

The poll showed that political affiliation affected people’s willingness to wear a mask in public more than their vaccination status. 

A total of 63 percent of vaccinated adults said they’ll wear masks indoors always or most of the time, while less than half of the unvaccinated population at 48 percent said the same. 

Meanwhile, 77 percent of Democrats said they’ll mask up always or most of the time, compared to 37 percent of Republicans. 

The survey results align with previous polls and research showing that supporters of former President Trump were less likely to call masks effective in lessening the spread of the virus and Democrats were more likely to opt to continue precautions after rules ended. 

The survey comes amid a resurgence of a new mask debate after the CDC updated its recommendations last week for fully vaccinated people to mask up in areas of “substantial” or “high” transmission. The guidance applies to more than 80 percent of U.S. counties as of Monday.

In her announcement, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky cited data suggesting that the delta variant could be transmitted from vaccinated people, information that prompted the changed mask guidance.  

The CDC update received backlash, including from Republican lawmakers who accused the agency of backpedaling from its May guidance permitting fully vaccinated people to go maskless in most situations.

Other states and cities have launched their own mask requirements. Los Angeles County issued a mask mandate last month, and Louisiana, St. Louis and San Francisco have all followed suit.

The Politico-Morning Consult poll surveyed 2,200 adults between July 31 and Aug. 2, with a margin of error of 2 percentage points. 

Tags COVID-19 poll COVID-19 vaccine Donald Trump mask mandates mask requirements Masks Politico/Morning Consult poll poll Rochelle Walensky Vaccine

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