Concerns about COVID continue in NJ, but most reject required masking, social distancing
🔵New Jerseyans don't want to see masking and social distancing guidelines return
🔵Poll finds 27% of New Jerseyans remain "very concerned" about COVID
🔵People are less interested in getting booster shots
Are you concerned about COVID making somebody in your family really sick?
A Monmouth University Poll released on Tuesday finds that 57% of New Jerseyans are concerned that someone in their family will get seriously ill from COVID. That's up from 50% when a similar poll was released in April 2022.
The poll finds 27% of Jersey adults are very concerned about COVID, while 30% are somewhat concerned. Nineteen percent of those surveyed indicated they aren't concerned at all.
Despite the concern, many New Jerseyans don't want the state to return to masking and social distancing guidelines.
“Only 1 in 3 New Jerseyans, 32%, support reinstituting the face mask and social distancing guidelines that we’ve had,” said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Poll.
A poll taken in 2021 found 60% of New Jerseyans supported public health protocols to stop the spread of the virus.
Murray said the number of state residents who report testing positive for COVID has risen from 38% about a year ago to 56% right now, and this increase has been seen in every demographic group.
Not much interest in the new COVID booster shot
Murray said the poll also finds that support for booster shots is waning.
"While two-thirds of New Jerseyans got the original booster, only 23% have gotten this new booster,” Murray said.
The survey indicates 33% of those 55 and older have gotten the bivalent shot, while less than 20% of those under 55 have received the new booster.
Murray said the poll finds an uptake of the new booster is more common among Democrats (35%) than among independents (18%) and Republicans (15%).
“New Jersey’s attitude seems to be COVID is here to stay and we’ve just got to live with it,” Murray said.
Thumbs up for Gov. Phil Murphy
The poll also finds Gov. Phil Murphy continues to receive positive reviews for his handling of the COVID outbreak.
Sixkty-six percent of respondents said he has done a good job, while 26% say he has done a bad job. More Democrats (91%) than Republicans (37%) give Murphy a positive pandemic rating.
The Monmouth University Poll was conducted by telephone from Jan. 5 to 9, 2023 with 809 New Jersey adults. The question results in this release have a margin of error of +/- 4.7 percentage points.
David Matthau is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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