University survey finds COVID-19 anxiety continues to climb as cases spike statewide

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Photo credit to the University of Wyoming website

Tyler Johnson, [email protected] [PRESS RELEASE]

LARAMIE, WYOMING (November 6, 2020) – Wyoming residents are again reporting more anxiety about the spread of COVID-19 in the state, according to a new survey by the University of Wyoming’s Wyoming Survey and Analysis Center (WYSAC).

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The survey was conducted Monday, Nov. 2, as cases continued to see record highs statewide.

Almost half of Wyomingites say they’re very or fairly anxious about the spread of COVID-19 in the state, an increase of 8 percentage points from October and an increase of 15 percentage points from September. Another 24 percent say they are somewhat anxious about the spread in Wyoming. Just over 30 percent of Wyoming residents say they are not at all anxious about the spread in Wyoming, a decrease of 11 percentage points since October.

While 44 percent say the worst is yet to come in the United States, 50 percent say the worst is yet to come here in Wyoming — an increase of 11 percentage points since October and 21 percentage points since September.

“Anxiety about the spread of COVID-19 in Wyoming has returned to levels not seen since March,” says Brian Harnisch, senior research scientist in charge of the project at WYSAC. “At the same time, we see just over two-thirds of Wyomingites now reporting that they are wearing a mask in indoor public places all or most of the time. Other research has shown that this number is still likely the lowest in the nation.”

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The survey is the 10th of multiple surveys WYSAC is conducting to measure public opinion on a number of topics related to COVID-19. A total of 465 Wyoming residents participated in the survey representing all Wyoming counties, with a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.

Other findings from the latest survey:

  • Over 60 percent of Wyomingites now say they would strongly or somewhat support an ordinance requiring people in their community to wear face masks when visiting indoor public places. Thirty percent say they strongly or somewhat oppose such an ordinance.
  • A majority, 69 percent, of Wyomingites say they always or often wear face protection when in indoor public places. Alternatively, 19 percent say they rarely or never wear masks, a decrease of 5 points since October.
  • Over a third, 38 percent, of Wyomingites say they are very or somewhat unlikely to get a vaccine for COVID-19 if one becomes available.
  • Of those who say they are very or somewhat unlikely to get a vaccine for COVID-19, 70 percent cite a concern about potential side-effects as a major reason. Over half say that a major reason is that they do not think they need it, while 59 percent say a major reason they are unlikely to get the vaccine is they would like to see how well it works first.
  • Almost half, 45 percent, of Wyomingites report that they have already received the flu vaccine for this season, while one-third of residents say they are somewhat or very unlikely to get the flu vaccine this year.

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  • Those who describe COVID-19 as a “real threat” stand at 53 percent, up 6 points from October, while 39 percent say it is “blown out of proportion,” down 6 points.
  • Approval of the way Gov. Mark Gordon is handling the COVID-19 crisis remained steady, with 60 percent saying they strongly approve or somewhat approve of the way he is handling things. His net approval rating is at plus 24 points.
  • A majority, 65 percent, say they trust the information they hear from the governor about COVID-19 a great deal or a good amount.
  • Approval of the way President Donald Trump is handling the COVID-19 crisis has remained steady, with 54 percent saying they strongly approve or somewhat approve of the way he is handling things. President Trump’s net approval rating is at plus 10.3 points.
  • Less than half, 47 percent, of Wyoming residents say they trust the information they hear from Trump about COVID-19 a great deal or a good amount.
  • Just over a third, 34 percent, of Wyomingites say they trust the information they hear from Joe Biden about COVID-19 a great deal or a good amount.
  • A large majority, 70 percent, say they trust the information they hear from their local government officials about COVID-19 a great deal or a good amount.
  • Approval of the way Congress is handling the COVID-19 crisis remains low, with just 21 percent saying they strongly approve or somewhat approve of the way Congress is handling things, resulting in a net approval rating of minus 51 points.

To see the survey methodology, chart, figures and complete survey results, go to https://wysac.uwyo.edu/wysac/.

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