New SC survey shows most support mask mandates, many share concerns about schools reopening

New SC survey shows most support mask mandates, many share concerns about schools reopening
The poll was conducted earlier this month by Chernoff-Newman, a marketing firm based in Columbia. (Source: AP)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - A new survey of 500 people in South Carolina found strong support for mandatory face mask regulations and serious concerns about sending children back to school for in-person instruction.

The poll was conducted earlier this month by Chernoff-Newman, a marketing firm based in Columbia.

Many cities and counties in South Carolina have passed ordinances requiring people to wear masks in public. The survey found 82% of people strongly or moderately agree with these policies.

South Carolina does not currently have a statewide face mask mandate.

Gov. Henry McMaster and health leaders in the state have urged people to wear masks, but the governor says a statewide mandate is not enforceable.

However, the poll found that 80% of people would strongly or moderately agree with a state mandate requiring face masks in public.

The survey also found a majority of people continue to be very concerned about returning to life as usual anytime soon.

Of the respondents, 32% said it would be 3 to 12 months before they were comfortable eating inside a dine-in restaurant. More than 18% said it would be a year before they felt comfortable eating out again. On the other side, 31% of people said they were already comfortable eating inside a dine-in restaurant.

The return to school has also been a hotly-debated topic in South Carolina.

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McMaster has asked all school districts to give parents a choice of five days a week in-person learning or virtual learning. But many school districts plan to open for virtual-only instruction until the rate of COVID-19 begins to drop.

In the survey, 43% of people said it would be between 3 to 12 months before they would feel comfortable sending children to a school, camp, or daycare. And 17% of people said it would be a year before they felt comfortable doing this.

Almost 21% of respondents said they are already comfortable doing so.

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