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PUBLIC HEALTH

NY voters support mask, COVID-19 vaccine mandates

Vaccine Clinic 7.JPG

Cayuga County Health Department holds a walk-in COVID-19 vaccine clinic at the Scipio Fire Department.

Most New Yorkers support mask and COVID-19 vaccine mandates, according to a new poll released on Tuesday. 

The Siena Research Institute found 69% of voters support requiring school employees, including teachers, to be vaccinated. Two-thirds of voters said they support businesses, such as gyms and restaurants, mandating customers to show proof of vaccination. There is a similar level of support (65%) for employers requiring employees to be vaccinated. 

In New York, school employees must submit to weekly COVID-19 testing unless they present proof of vaccination. President Joe Biden has issued a nationwide directive requiring employees at businesses with 100 or more workers to be vaccinated or get tested weekly. 

Siena College pollster Steve Greenberg noted that more than three-quarters of Democrats and a majority of independent voters support the vaccine mandates. 

"Although a majority of Republicans support two of the mandates, they are divided on employers mandating their employees (to get vaccinated)," Greenberg added. 

At least 70% of New York City voters support vaccine mandates. In upstate New York, 65% of voters support vaccine mandates for school employees, while 57% endorse the idea of employers requiring employees to be vaccinated. 

There is more approval of mask mandates. More than three-quarters of voters (78%) say they support school districts requiring students, teachers and staff to wear masks in school buildings. Nearly three-quarters of voters (74%) support governments requiring masks in indoor facilities. 

Gov. Kathy Hochul announced in August that masks must be worn in schools. There isn't a similar requirement for other indoor facilities, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends masks to be worn indoors in areas with high or substantial COVID-19 transmission levels. 

The school mask mandate has wide bipartisan support, including 89% of Democrats, 76% of independents and 57% of Republicans. 

Siena surveyed 700 registered voters. The margin of error is plus or minus 4.2%. 

Politics reporter Robert Harding can be reached at (315) 282-2220 or robert.harding@lee.net. Follow him on Twitter @robertharding.

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Online producer and politics reporter

I have been The Citizen's online producer and politics reporter since December 2009. I'm the author of the Eye on NY blog and write the weekly Eye on NY column that appears every Sunday in the print edition of The Citizen and online at auburnpub.com.

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