Courtesy of the Maryland Department of Health via Twitter
Courtesy of the Maryland Department of Health via Twitter

Marylanders are experiencing a range of emotions since the COVID-19 outbreak hit the state earlier this year, according to a new Goucher College poll released Tuesday.

The two feelings those surveyed expressed most often — frustration and stress — ranked at 58 percent and 57 percent, respectively.

However, the 1,002 adults who participated in the poll are split on taking a Food and Drug Administration-approved coronavirus vaccine. Approximately 49 percent would not agree to take a vaccine, compared to 48 percent who would.

“There are very mixed messages from our leaders,” Mileah Kromer, director of the Sarah T. Hughes Field Politics Center at Goucher College, said in an interview. “The president is saying different things than the Democratic leaders are. You have the governor who is hoping the vaccine is coming out of Maryland. This, to me, demonstrates the problem when we are not clear on our messaging and not on the same page with this.”

Even with some of the mixed messages, 82 percent of Marylanders approve of how Gov. Larry Hogan has handled the outbreak, compared to 19 percent who disapprove.

Regarding the Republican governor’s pace in reopening the state for businesses and easing restrictions, 58 percent say it is has been “about right.” About 23 percent say the state has opened too quickly.

Hogan has encouraged residents and business owners to wear face coverings.

Roughly 89 percent of Marylanders agree that measures such as wearing face coverings or social distancing can help stop the spread of the coronavirus. Only 8 percent disagree.

Most of the state has entered the third and final stage of reopening efforts, relaxing restrictions on certain activities and increasing capacity for retail businesses, places of worship, movie theaters and other indoor venues.

In addition, Hogan announced people can visit nursing homes and increase capacity at child care centers.

That isn’t happening in Prince George’s County as the majority-Black jurisdiction remains in stage two.

As of Sunday, the county health department reported 31,137 confirmed coronavirus cases. The figure continues to lead the state.

County Executive Angela Alsobrooks advised Thursday for families to not conduct the traditional door-to-door trick-or-treating for children this Halloween.

But the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission will host a “Boo-thru” event at 6 p.m. Oct. 29 at three locations — Watkins Park in Upper Marlboro, Ellen Linson Splash Park in College Park and Cosca Regional Park in Clinton.

Parents and guardians can drive their children to receive candy, toys and other prizes while remaining inside their vehicles.

The poll, conducted between Sept. 30 and Oct. 4 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, asked participants’ view on where Maryland stands amid the coronavirus outbreak.

About 51 percent believe the worst of the coronavirus “is behind us.” Another 40 percent say “the worst is yet to come.”

“It is a reminder to all of us [that] no matter what you hear, COVID-19 is still very present in our community,” Alsobrooks said. “It is still causing harm.”

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Coverage for the Washington Informer includes Prince George’s County government, school system and some state of Maryland government. Received an award in 2019 from the D.C. Chapter of the Society of...

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