Even as the omicron surge continues to drop, a new poll finds Garden State residents are still concerned about COVID but only to a certain point.

Patrick Murray, the director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, said the just-released survey finds almost two years after the pandemic began, "70% say it’s time we just accept it’s here to stay and get on with our lives.”

The survey finds 89% of Republicans feel this way along with 71% of independents, while 47% of Democrats agree it’s time to accept the virus and move on.

Support slipping for guidelines

He said the poll finds “a majority of 52% support having some sort of facemask and social distancing guidelines, but that’s down from 63% back in September."

Photo courtesy of Katia Bataglio

Murray said when we look at approval for “vaccine mandates in workplaces, that number is now down to 43%, from 53% just a few months ago.”

"People are saying they’re not working so how can we mandate them," he said.

About a third of respondents, 34%, believe the COVID outbreak will be brought under control by the end of the year, but 28% think a return to normalcy will never happen.

The survey also finds about a third of people who have been vaccinated report also being infected with COVID, and 61% of those who have not gotten a shot say they have been infected with the virus.

While nearly half of American adults (45%) report getting a booster shot, the poll finds a significant number (37%) remain unlikely to ever do so – which includes 17% who remain opposed even to getting the initial vaccination.

Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine being transferred into a syringe
Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine being transferred into a syringe (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

Half of the public is either very (23%) or somewhat (27%) concerned about getting sick with a new COVID variant, while 38% say they’re very concerned about a family member getting the virus, up from 30% in December.

The survey also finds approval for the job President Biden is doing in dealing with the pandemic is slipping.

“Just 46% say he’s doing a good job at handling COVID; that’s down from 62% last year,” said Murray.

While the poll does not specifically look at New Jersey, Murray said before the November election Gov. Phil Murphy’s approval rating for dealing with COVID was “well over 50%, but that we know has gone down.”

You can contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com.

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