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Covid Concerns Remain Low; Few Want Return Of Mask Mandates

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Vaccine booster rates hit a wall; rejected by most Republicans

West Long Branch, NJ –The latest Monmouth (“Mon-muth”) University Poll finds that concern about family members becoming ill from the coronavirus remains relatively low and is approaching the nadir it hit briefly last summer. This comes as reports of COVID-19 infections are leveling off. Only one-third of the public supports a return to face mask and social distancing guidelines and about 4 in 10 backs workplace vaccine mandates.

The number of people who are very concerned about a family member becoming seriously ill from the virus remains steady at 23%, the same as in March.  This number was 38% in January and hit a pandemic high of 60% one year before that.  The current number of Americans (46%) who are either very or somewhat concerned about a family member falling ill with Covid is approaching the momentary low point for this number recorded last summer (42% in June 2021).

In the current poll, 35% of American adults report having tested positive for Covid. This finding is up from January (27%), but similar to March (38%). Another 13% say they were diagnosed without a test or believe they had the disease at some point during the pandemic.

Vaccine uptake, particularly getting a booster shot, remains static. Currently, just under half (49%) of adults report having received a Covid booster dose while one-third (34%) – including a majority of Republicans – say they are not at all likely to get it.

“Public health experts say that Covid is not in the endemic phase yet, but most Americans appear to be acting as if it is. Vaccine rates have hit a wall but few want to go back to a world of mask mandates,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.

Just 32% of the public supports instituting or reinstituting face mask and social distancing guidelines in their state at the current time, which is similar to March (34%), but down significantly from January (52%). At the same time, support for requiring people to show proof of vaccination in order to work in an office setting or around other people has held steady – 42% now, 44% in March, and 43% in January. Large majorities of Democrats continue to back vaccine (78%) and mask (59%) mandates, while not much more than 1 in 3 independents and 1 in 5 Republicans agree.

Ratings for how different groups in the country have been handling the pandemic have ticked down just slightly over the past two months, including for President Joe Biden (46% good job, down from 49% in March), federal health agencies (48%, down from 53%), state governors (57%, down from 59%), and the American public (32%, down from 35%). Compared with January, though, the current results are a few points more positive for all four groups.

The Monmouth University Poll was conducted by telephone from May 5 to 9, 2022 with 807 adults in the United States.  The question results in this release have a margin of error of +/- 3.5 percentage points. The poll was conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute in West Long Branch, NJ.

QUESTIONS AND RESULTS     

(* Some columns may not add to 100% due to rounding.)

[Q1-31 previously released.]

32.How concerned are you about someone in your family becoming seriously ill from the coronavirus outbreak – very concerned, somewhat concerned, not too concerned, or not at all concerned?

      TREND:May
2022
March
2022
Jan.
2022
Dec.
2021
Nov.
2021
Sept.
2021
July
2021
June
2021
March
2021
Jan.
2021
  Very concerned23%23%38%30%34%45%30%23%40%60%
  Somewhat concerned23%26%24%30%27%24%23%19%28%19%
  Not too concerned26%26%19%20%22%17%21%24%14%12%
  Not at all concerned28%24%17%19%15%12%24%32%16%7%
  (VOL) Don’t know0%0%0%0%1%1%0%1%0%0%
  (VOL) Has already happened1%1%1%1%1%1%2%1%2%2%
(n)(807)(809)(794)(808)(811)(802)(804)(810)(802)(809)
      TREND: ContinuedNov.
2020
Early Sept.
2020
Aug.
2020
Late June
2020
Early June
2020
May
2020
April
2020
March
2020
  Very concerned50%47%41%41%37%42%50%38%
  Somewhat concerned25%27%28%26%32%28%33%32%
  Not too concerned13%13%18%17%14%14%9%18%
  Not at all concerned10%12%13%15%16%16%7%12%
  (VOL) Don’t know0%0%0%0%0%0%0%0%
  (VOL) Has already happened1%0%1%1%0%0%0%n/a
(n)(810)(867)(868)(867)(807)(808)(857)(851)

33.At any time during the pandemic, did you ever have Covid or think you had Covid? [If YES: Was your Covid status confirmed with a test, were you given the diagnosis by a medical professional without a test, or did you just know you had Covid?]

    TREND:May
2022
March
2022
Jan.
2022
Yes, confirmed with a test35%38%27%
Yes, given the diagnosis without a test2%4%2%
Yes, just knew had Covid11%10%11%
No, have not had Covid49%47%59%
(VOL) Don’t know2%2%1%
  (n)(807)(809)(794)

34.Please tell me if each of the following has done a good job or bad job dealing with the coronavirus outbreak. [ITEMS WERE ROTATED]

TREND: Good
Job
Bad
Job
(VOL) Mixed,
depends
(VOL) Don’t
know

(n)
President Biden46%50%2%2%(807)
   — March 202249%47%2%2%(809)
   — January 202243%53%3%1%(794)    
   — December 202146%46%4%4%(808)
   — November 202153%41%2%3%(811)
   — September 202152%43%4%1%(802)
   — July 202155%38%4%3%(804)
   — June 202159%32%4%5%(810)
   — April 202162%31%3%3%(800)
   — March 202157%31%3%8%(802)
   — January 202158%23%5%15%(809)
      
Your state’s governor57%39%2%1%(807)
   — March 202259%36%3%3%(809)
   — January 202254%41%3%2%(794)
   — December 202150%41%5%3%(808)
   — November 202160%35%3%3%(811)
   — September 202156%38%3%3%(802)
   — July 202154%42%3%2%(804)
   — June 202158%33%5%4%(810)
   — April 202162%34%3%2%(800)
   — March 202156%38%3%2%(802)
   — January 202157%38%3%2%(809)
   — Early September 202061%35%3%1%(867)
   — August 202057%35%5%3%(868)
   — Late June 202065%28%5%2%(867)
   — Early June 202067%28%3%1%(807)
   — May 202073%22%3%2%(808)
   — April 202072%21%4%3%(857)
   — March 202072%18%4%6%(851)
      
The American public32%59%7%2%(807)
   — March 202235%54%8%2%(809)
   — January 202229%58%9%3%(794)
   — December 202127%56%12%5%(808)
   — November 202135%55%7%3%(811)
   — September 202123%65%10%2%(802)
   — July 202132%51%12%5%(804)
   — June 202142%40%14%4%(810)
   — April 202143%44%10%4%(800)
   — March 202135%53%11%1%(802)
   — January 202132%60%6%2%(809)
   — Early September 202031%57%10%2%(867)
   — August 202026%62%11%1%(868)
   — Late June 202028%59%11%3%(867)
   — Early June 202046%43%8%2%(807)
   — May 202051%33%13%2%(808)
   — April 202038%48%12%2%(857)
   — March 202038%45%14%3%(851)
      
Health agencies in the federal government48%46%4%2%(807)
   — March 202253%41%4%2%(809)
   — January 202246%47%5%2%(794)
   — December 202148%41%6%5%(808)
   — November 202153%38%5%4%(811)
   — September 202152%38%6%3%(802)
   — July 202157%33%7%3%(804)
   — June 202155%33%6%5%(810)
   — April 2021n/an/an/an/an/a
   — March 202150%37%8%5%(802)
   — January 202152%40%6%3%(809)
   — Early September 2020n/an/an/an/an/a
   — August 202046%43%6%4%(868)
   — Late June 2020n/an/an/an/an/a
   — Early June 202057%34%5%3%(807)
   — May 202063%25%7%4%(808)
   — April 202066%25%4%4%(857)
   — March 202065%24%8%4%(851)
      

35.Do you support or oppose instituting, or reinstituting, face mask and social distancing guidelines in your state at the current time?

    TREND:May
2022
March
2022
Jan.
2022
Dec.
2021
Sept.
2021
July
2021
Support32%34%52%55%63%52%
Oppose65%62%45%42%34%46%
(VOL) Depends3%3%1%2%2%n/a
(VOL) Don’t know1%1%2%2%1%2%
(n)(807)(809)(794)(808)(802)(804)

36.Do you support or oppose requiring people to show proof of vaccination in order to go to work in an office or setting where they are around other people?

    TREND:May
2022
March
2022
Jan.
2022
Dec.
2021
Nov.
2021
Sept.
2021
Support42%44%43%46%51%53%
Oppose56%55%53%50%47%45%
(VOL) Depends1%1%2%2%2%2%
(VOL) Don’t know1%0%2%2%1%1%
(n)(807)(809)(794)(808)(811)(802)

37.Have you received at least one dose of Covid vaccine, or not?

    TREND:May
2022
March
2022
Jan.
2022
Dec.
2021
Nov.
2021
Sept.
2021
July
2021
June
2021
April
2021
Yes77%78%77%78%80%75%68%66%51%
No 22%21%20%20%18%21%28%33%48%
(VOL) Don’t know 1%1%4%2%3%4%4%1%1%
(n)(807)(809)(794)(808)(811)(802)(804)(810)(800)

38.Have you received a booster shot of the Covid vaccine, or not? [If NOT:] How likely are you to get a booster shot of the vaccine – very likely, somewhat likely, not too likely, or not at all likely?

    TREND:May
2022
March
2022
Jan.
2022
Dec.
2021
Nov.
2021
Sept.
2021
Already received booster49%48%45%24%10%*1%*
Very likely6%8%11%27%41%51%
Somewhat likely6%4%7%13%14%16%
Not too likely4%5%7%6%8%6%
Not at all likely **34%33%30%27%25%26%
(VOL) Don’t know1%1%0%1%2%1%
(n)(807)(809)(794)(808)(811)(802)

* September/November 2021 polls did not specifically ask if person already got the booster, but included it as a volunteered response.

** Prior to March 2022, this includes results to a previous question on likelihood of getting any dose of the vaccine.

METHODOLOGY

The Monmouth University Poll was sponsored and conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute from May 5 to 9, 2022 with a probability-based national random sample of 807 adults age 18 and older. This includes 284 contacted by a live interviewer on a landline telephone and 523 contacted by a live interviewer on a cell phone, in English. Telephone numbers were selected through a mix of random digit dialing and list-based sampling. Landline respondents were selected with a modified Troldahl-Carter youngest adult household screen. Interviewing services were provided by Braun Research, with sample obtained from Dynata (RDD, n=532), Aristotle (list, n=137) and a panel of prior Monmouth poll participants (n=138). Monmouth is responsible for all aspects of the survey design, data weighting and analysis. The full sample is weighted for region, age, education, gender and race based on US Census information (ACS 2018 one-year survey). For results based on this sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the error attributable to sampling has a maximum margin of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points (unadjusted for sample design). Sampling error can be larger for sub-groups (see table below). In addition to sampling error, one should bear in mind that question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of opinion polls.


DEMOGRAPHICS (weighted)
Self-Reported
30% Republican
43% Independent
27% Democrat
 
49% Male
51% Female
 
30% 18-34
32% 35-54
38% 55+
 
63% White
12% Black
17% Hispanic
  8% Asian/Other
 
69% No degree
31% 4 year degree

Click on pdf file link below for full methodology and crosstabs by key demographic groups.

Download this Poll Report with crosstabs