LARAMIE – Nearly one-third of Wyomingites say they or immediate family members have been laid off or lost their jobs due to the novel coronavirus, according to a new survey by the University of Wyoming’s Wyoming Survey and Analysis Center.
And more than half of the state’s residents or their immediate family members have seen reductions in work hours or pay because of the pandemic, with nearly three-quarters expressing deep concern about the impact of coronavirus on the economy.
The survey, conducted Monday, is the first of multiple surveys WYSAC plans to measure public opinion on a number of topics related to COVID-19. A total of 465 people participated in the weighted survey representing all Wyoming counties, with a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.
Here are some of the survey findings:
31.9% of respondents said they or immediate family members had been laid off or lost their jobs.
56.3% said they or immediate family members had seen a reduction in work hours or pay.
71.4% were very concerned about the impact of COVID-19 on the economy, with 22.7% somewhat concerned. Only 5.7% were not concerned.
75% were concerned about the impact of the coronavirus on their personal finances, with 24.9% not concerned.
89.8% said they’ve changed their daily routines because of the outbreak, with more than 80% of those saying they’re eating out less, avoiding physical contact with others, washing their hands more frequently, not attending public gatherings and spending more time at home.
About 66% said they think the worst is yet to come.
Regarding policies enacted to slow the spread of the virus, more than 80% supported the closure of schools, day care centers and restaurants, along with limitations on public gatherings. More than half – 54.4% – would support a state-level “shelter-in-place” order, with 22.3% opposed and 23.3% uncertain.
If a vaccine becomes available for COVID-19, 80.2% said they would be likely to seek the vaccine.
The survey also asked for perspectives on the way local, state and national leaders are handling the virus response. Results from those questions include:
62.2% approve and 34.3% disapprove of President Donald Trump’s performance on the issue, with 55.7% saying they trust the information about COVID-19 they hear from him and 44.3% saying they don’t.
81.9% approve and 14.1% disapprove of Gov. Mark Gordon’s handling of the situation, with 86.9% saying they trust the information he provides and 13.2% saying they don’t.
78.4% approve and 15.9% disapprove of the way local government and health officials are handling the outbreak, with 85.7% saying they trust the information they hear from those sources and 14.3% saying they don’t.
47.6% say they approve of the way Congress is handling the pandemic, with 45.5% disapproving.
When it comes to the U.S. and Wyoming health care systems’ ability to handle the response to the pandemic, close to 51% said they have confidence in that ability, and about 30% said they don’t, with about 19.5% unsure.
Finally, asked if they think COVID-19 is a real threat or blown out of proportion, 63.8% said it’s a real threat; 24.2% said it’s blown out of proportion; and 12% were unsure.
To see the survey methodology and complete results, go to WYSAC’s website at https://wysac.uwyo.edu/wysac.