UW Survey: Mask Use Was On Rise Before Gordon’s Mandate

in News/Coronavirus/University of Wyoming

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Even before Gov. Mark Gordon enacted a statewide mask mandate this week, mask usage among Wyoming residents was already on the rise, according to a University of Wyoming Survey.

This was just one of the findings from the latest survey conducted by the Wyoming Survey and Analysis Center.

The survey was conducted Monday, with a majority of data collected before the announcement of the mask mandate Monday afternoon.

Just over three-quarters (76%) of surveyed Wyomingites said they wear masks always or often when visiting indoor public places, an increase from 69% in early November and 61% in early October.

Only 6% of Wyoming residents now report that they never wear masks when visiting indoor public places, while 9% say they rarely wear masks in this situation.

“At the time of the survey, roughly half of the counties in Wyoming had recently enacted face mask mandates,” said Brian Harnisch, senior research scientist in charge of the project at WYSAC. “Self-reported mask use in those counties, those that say they always wear a mask in indoor public places, was roughly 20 percentage points higher than those without a mandate.”

Support for an ordinance that requires those in their communities to wear masks when visiting indoor public places was at 63% when the survey was conducted Monday, similar to the 62% support measured in November.

The survey is the 11th of multiple surveys WYSAC is conducting to measure public opinion on a number of topics related to the coronavirus.

A total of 519 Wyoming residents participated in the survey representing all Wyoming counties, with a margin of error of plus or minus 4.3 percentage points.

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