As Maryland and local jurisdictions across the state have lifted their coronavirus-related restrictions over the past several weeks, including the end of mask requirements, most residents feel mandates are being lifted at a good speed or even not fast enough, according to a new Goucher College poll released on Tuesday.
Of the Marylanders who were polled, 44% said the pace of lifting COVID-19 restrictions is “about right,” while 25% said the end of mandates is moving “too slowly.” For 28% of residents, the pace is moving “too quickly.”
But when asked how concerned they are about personally getting COVID-19 or a close family member getting infected, Marylanders were more divided.
While 53% of residents said they are “very” or “somewhat” concerned about themselves or a loved one getting infected, the other 47% said they are “a little” or “not at all” concerned.
One year ago – when COVID-19 vaccine eligibility was still limited to older adults, certain “essential” workers, and immunocompromised individuals – 71% of residents were “very” or “somewhat” concerned, while 29% were “a little” or “not at all” concerned, according to a Goucher poll at that time.
“As we enter into the third year of the pandemic, our results suggest that Marylanders are ready for a return to ‘normalcy’ and support their local jurisdictions ending the remaining mandates and restrictions,” Mileah Kromer, director of the Sarah T. Hughes Center for Politics at Goucher College, said in a statement. “Getting COVID-19 remains a concern for many Marylanders, but the level of concern has waned.”
A majority of Marylanders approve of how state and local leaders have handled the pandemic, with local health departments and Gov. Larry Hogan receiving the highest approval ratings, 71% and 70%, respectively.
Marylanders also approved of the handling of the pandemic by the Maryland Department of Health (68%), local elected officials (66%), and the Democrats in the Maryland General Assembly (58%).
A majority of Marylanders (55%) approve of the job the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has done in handling the pandemic, although 42% disapprove.
The Maryland Senate on Monday night passed a climate change bill that seeks to reduce the state’s greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2045.
The Goucher poll, which was conducted before that bill’s passage, asked Marylanders to weigh in on how much climate change has affected various aspects of the environment, including whether it had a major, minor or no impact.
A majority of Marylanders said climate change was having a major impact on rising sea levels and retreating shorelines (55%); wildlife and ecosystems (54%); and extreme weather, such as floods, hurricanes, or long periods of unusually hot weather (54%).
A plurality of Marylanders (46%) said climate change was also having a major impact on the fishing or agricultural industry.
Marylanders were more split on how much of an effect climate change had on air quality and human health.
On air quality, 41% of residents said climate change was having a minor impact, while 38% said the impact was major.
When it comes to human health, 40% saying there was a major impact and 40% saying there was a minor impact.
Goucher College surveyed 635 Maryland adults, including 593 self-identified registered voters, by phone from March 1-6.
For the sample size of 635 Maryland adults, there is a margin of error of plus or minus 3.9 percentage points.
For the sample size of 593 Maryland voters, there is a margin of error of plus or minus 4.0 percentage points.
Click here to read about the Goucher College poll results from Monday.