Most New Jerseyans are willing to a delay a return to a post-pandemic Garden State, according to a Farleigh Dickinson University poll released Tuesday.
Two-thirds of Garden State residents, including 43% of New Jersey Republicans, told pollsters they want COVID-19 restrictions to remain in place until a treatment or vaccine is available, while only 29% said they’d prefer a riskier and more immediate return to normalcy.
“There’s scant evidence in New Jersey that the public is looking for a speedy return to normal as long as a treatment or a vaccine remain out of reach. It looks like the heavy toll the virus took early on in the pandemic has left state residents leery of letting down their guard,” Farleigh Dickinson University Poll Director Krista Jenkins said.
Republicans were the only subset to favor a more immediate return to normalcy, with 53% saying they supported the lifting of restrictions despite the continued threat posed by the virus.
Support for Gov. Phil Murphy’s mask mandate is also through the roof. More than three-quarters, 77%, said they believed masks should be mandatory, while 20% said they should be optional. A majority of Republicans, 60%, supported the mask mandate, compared to 92% of Democrats.
Despite those rosy figures, New Jerseyans are a little less sold on the idea of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Two-thirds, 66%, said they would likely or definitely get vaccinated against the virus once a vaccine became available, while 30% said they probably or definitely would not.
“The speed with which vaccines are being developed may be contributing to the public’s weariness to accept a coronavirus vaccine when it becomes available. Although a vaccine is likely months if not longer away from being approved, public health campaigns targeting vaccine acceptance need to be developed now,” said Julie Kalabalik-Hoganson, Director and Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice at Fairleigh Dickinson University School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.
The poll of 809 New Jersey adults was conducted between June 18 and June 30.