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A Connecticut poll finds 67% support the state's mask and vaccine mandates, but a researcher warns that's a moving target

Connecticut Relaxes Indoor Mask Mandate
Tyler Russell/Tyler Russell/Connecticut Public
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Connecticut Public
Manchester, CT - May 19, 2021: While the state requirement has been lifted The Shoppes at Buckland Hills have not removed their own signs from the mall's common spaces. (Tyler Russell/Connecticut Public)

Several Connecticut towns and cities have ditched mask mandates in the past few days citing improved public health metrics, but a new poll finds public support for the mandate remains high.

The Sacred Heart University poll, which surveyed 1,000 residents in the last two weeks of October, found 67% still support the state’s mask and vaccine mandate, including that students wear masks in school.

That’s a fast changing situation now that 5- to 11-year-olds are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, said pollster Michael Vigeant.

“Before kids weren’t vaccinated they were just in masks, it was never a question. Now you are going to get into a situation where kids are vaccinated, now what? And how does that impact the schools? So I think there’s more confusion to come,” Vigeant said.

The poll also finds that Governor Ned Lamont continues to receive high public approval for his handling of COVID-19, with the governor’s approval only four points lower than the 71% he had in April.

“Some small percentage point dips but I think again that comes on the heels of Delta. Cases spiked. We had to get folks wearing masks again. And then they started to decline. Some towns are opening up, some are not,” Vigeant said.

Stamford, Hartford and Norwalk have dropped their mask mandates as COVID-19 cases are lower. Bridgeport still has a mandate due to its sluggish vaccine rate.

Sacred Heart University is the licensee of WSHU Public Radio.
Copyright 2021 WSHU. To see more, visit WSHU.

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As WSHU Public Radio’s award-winning senior political reporter, Ebong Udoma draws on his extensive tenure to delve deep into state politics during a major election year. In addition to providing long-form reports and features for WSHU, he regularly contributes spot news to NPR, and has worked at the NPR National News Desk as part of NPR’s diversity initiative.

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