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Survey: 49% of residents say keep restrictions beyond May 15 instead of beginning to open economy

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Posted at 12:03 PM, May 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-11 12:15:41-04

LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. (WKBW) — According to a Capital Region COVID-19 Survey from Siena College Research Institute, sponsored by the Times Union, 49 percent of residents said the New York State ‘On Pause’ restrictions should remain in place.

Thirty-nine percent said it will be safe to gradually end those restrictions and begin opening the economy after May 15.

Fifty-two percent of those who were working outside the home prior to the pandemic are very confident that their business will take the necessary steps to keep employees and clients safe from COVID-19 throughout the crisis.

But while 81 percent of all area residents are at least somewhat confident, only 27 percent are very confident that most businesses will keep employees, clients and customers safe.

In order to feel safe going to work outside the home, large majorities of the workforce say each of the following is necessary:

  • workers are provided with masks (75 percent)
  • a treatment for the virus is available (71 percent)
  • workplaces are sanitized every day (72 percent)
  • both diagnostic (64 percent) and antibody (61 percent) testing are available
  • workplaces are set up for social distancing (61 percent)

“In order for Capital Region workers to feel safe, it’s gonna take not only masks, testing, cleaning, a treatment and social distancing but over half say a vaccine is necessary,” said SCRI’s Director Dr. Don Levy. “A majority of workers are very confident that their business will do all it can to keep them safe. Still, in this difficult time these numbers say that in most cases we’re going to have to tolerate a certain level of risk in order to go back to work anytime soon.”

COVID-19 has had a dramatic impact on the lives of residents of the 11 counties of the Capital Region.

While more than half - 54 percent - have received money from the federal government stimulus program, more than a quarter - 26 percent - have a household member that has been laid off. Twenty-one percent know someone that has died due to COVID-19.

More than 40 percent have had difficulty obtaining necessities including groceries or other household items, and 24 percent have had trouble meeting their monthly expenses.

Dr. Don Levy said large majorities are completely following the mandates and recommendations to wear masks in public, practice social distancing and wash their hands.

Thirty-eight percent continue to completely shelter at home but over half stay at home only as much as they can.