By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily
While a majority of Wyoming residents questioned for a University of Wyoming survey continue to support the closure of schools and businesses as a way to slow the spread of coronavirus, that level of support has fallen in recent weeks.
The UW’s Survey and Analysis Center, in its latest coronavirus-specific survey, reported that almost 70% of the 473 Wyoming residents questioned support the decision to close public schools. However, that support has fallen from the end of March, when more than 85% supported the action.
Likewise, while almost 82% of those questioned in late March supported the decision to close restaurants and bars, that number had fallen to 59.2% in the latest survey.
The survey of random Wyoming residents was conducted over 24 hours on Monday and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percent. It is the fourth such survey the center has conducted.
The latest survey came as state health orders that closed restaurants and bars for about six weeks were relaxed on Friday. State officials will allow such businesses to open if operators observe health safeguards, such as maintaining social distancing among patrons, requiring staff members to wear masks and disinfecting the businesses several times a day.
Support for a “shelter-in-place” order, which was never issued in Wyoming, has fallen to less than 40%, the survey said, from 54.4% in March.
Also changing since March was the overall attitude toward the coronavirus.
The survey found that 38.8% believe “the worst is yet to come” from coronavirus, compared to 63.3% who felt that way in March.
Meanwhile, the number of people who feel coronavirus is a real threat declined this week to 54.4% from March figures of 63.8% and the percentage of people who feel the virus threat is being “blown out of proportion” increased from 24.2% to 39.7%.