More Californians support statewide mask mandate, mixed on requiring proof of vaccination: poll

Inside California Politics

SACRAMENTO (INSIDE CALIFORNIA POLITICS) – An exclusive Inside California Politics/Emerson College poll found more Californians support an indoor mask mandate as cases have nearly tripled in the U.S. over two weeks.

The exclusive new statewide poll of more than 1,000 registered voters, which has a margin of error of +/-2.9%, shows a split in requiring proof of vaccination depending on the venue.

Nearly half of Californians support a statewide indoor mask mandate, the poll reveals, while 39% oppose one.

Would you support or oppose a statewide indoor mask mandate?

Support: 49% 
Oppose: 39%
Unsure or no opinion: 13% 

According to the poll, the majority disagree with being required to show proof of vaccination at shops, restaurants, and offices.

Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: Shops, restaurants, and offices should require proof of vaccination. 

Agree: 35%
Disagree: 51%
Unsure or no opinion: 14%

When asked if large public venues such as concert halls and stadiums should require proof of vaccination, Californians were split, with 49% agreeing and 40% disagreeing. 

Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: All large public venues such as concert halls and stadiums should require proof of vaccination.

Agree: 49%
Disagree: 40%
Unsure or no opinion: 11%

At this time, California is requiring masks in schools, but will ultimately leave decisions on how to handle enforcement up to the local school districts.

According to the poll, 45% of respondents said vaccinated students and teachers should be required to wear masks in the classroom, while 40% said no, and 15% of respondents were unsure or had no opinion.

Should vaccinated students and teachers be required to wear masks?

Yes: 45%
No: 40%
Unsure or no opinion: 15%

Californians were split when asked if the COVID-19 vaccine should be mandatory for middle school and high school students ages 12 and older to go to public school. A total 52% said it should be mandatory, while 49% said it should be a personal choice. 

In your opinion, should the vaccine for COVID-19 be mandatory for middle school and high school students ages 12 and older to go to public school, or should that be a personal choice? 

It should be mandatory for all students: 52%
It should not be mandatory for all students: 49%

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Delta variant of the coronavirus now accounts for an estimated 83% of U.S. COVID-19 cases. 

Thirty-one percent of respondents said they were very concerned about the Delta variant, while 30% said they were somewhat concerned. A total 19% said they were not too concerned, and 21% of respondents were not at all concerned, according to the poll.

How concerned are you about the Delta variant of COVID-19?

Very concerned: 31%
Somewhat concerned: 30% 
Not too concerned: 19%
Not at all concerned: 21%

Amid a sharp increase in virus cases, many of them the highly transmissible Delta variant that has proliferated since California fully reopened its economy on June 15, more and more California counties are recommending people mask indoors. 

According to the poll, 37% of respondents said they always wore masks outside the home, while 22% of respondents said often/sometimes.

In the past week, how often did you wear a face covering outside your home?

Always: 37%
Often: 22%
Sometimes: 22%
Never: 19%

According to the poll, more than half of Californians have received at least one shot of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Have you received at least one shot of the COVID-19 vaccine?

Yes: 63%
No: 37%

Homelessness and housing costs tied at 19% as the top issues facing California today, with COVID-19 ranking second at 16%.

What is the number one issue facing California today? 

Housing costs: 19%
Homelessness: 19%
COVID-19: 16%
Something else: 11%
Drought: 8%
Jobs: 7%
Crime: 7%
Environment: 6%
Healthcare: 4%
Education 3%

As you might imagine, the recall effort appears to be breaking down along party lines:

When broken down by party affiliation:

Democratic: 46%
Republican: 24%
Independent: 30% 

COVID in California 

California is seeing a spike in COVID-19 cases, most of them the highly transmissible Delta variant that has proliferated since the state fully reopened its economy on June 15. 

The vast majority of new cases are among unvaccinated people. 

Seven Bay Area counties are recommending residents wear masks indoors, while Los Angeles County officials reinstated the indoor mask mandate regardless of one’s vaccination status. 

Additionally, the University of California system said all students, faculty, and staff must be vaccinated against the coronavirus in order to return to campuses.

UC President Michael V. Drake said in a letter to the system’s 10 chancellors that unvaccinated students without approved exemptions will be barred from in-person classes, events, and campus facilities, including housing. 

California will require everyone in schools to wear masks despite new guidelines issued by the CDC that says fully vaccinated teachers and students can drop face masks. 

Hospitalizations in California are at the highest level since April, but they are a far cry from the winter peak, officials said. 

Other counties, including Sacramento and Yolo, are strongly urging people to wear masks indoors.

Vaccines decrease the severity of the illness, reduce hospitalizations and decrease the risk of death. Clinical trials showed that a single dose of the J&J vaccine was 72% effective against moderate to severe COVID-19 in the United States, compared with 95% for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. 

A Food and Drug Administration analysis cautioned that it’s not clear how well the vaccines work against each variant.

So-called breakthrough cases among the vaccinated are unusual. Between Jan. 1 and June 30, California identified 8,699 such cases out of the more than 20 million who have received the vaccine. 

State health officials continue to urge everyone to get vaccinated, but they would not say if statewide restrictions are coming. A spokesperson said, in part, 

“We continue as always to support the ability of local health jurisdictions to enact stricter local public health guidance that is tailored to the situation in their communities, as some counties have done.”

The Inside California Politics/Emerson College poll was conducted July 19-20, 2021. The sample consisted of California registered voters, n=1,085, with a Credibility Interval (CI) similar to a poll’s margin of error (MOE) of +/- 2.9 percentage points.

Nexstar Media has stations In San Francisco (KRON4), Sacramento (Fox40), Fresno (KSEE/KGPE), Bakersfield (KGET), Los Angeles (KTLA), and San Diego (Fox5).

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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