By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily
As the number of active coronavirus cases in Wyoming continues to decline, a growing number of people believe the worst of the illness is behind the state, according to a University of Wyoming survey.
The survey by the UW’s Survey and Analysis Center showed that as of Feb. 1, 35.2% of the 526 people questioned believed “the worst is behind us,” an increase of 9.1 percentage points over the response to the same question in January.
The percentage of those questioned who feel “the worst is yet to come” dropped by 7.3 percentage points in February from January to total 26.7%.
The survey is the latest in the monthly polls conducted by the Survey and Analysis Center to gauge the opinions of Wyoming residents on issues related to COVID-19. The surveys, which began in March, involve polling members of the center’s “WyoSpeaks” panel, a group of state residents who have indicated their willingness to be survey subjects.
The survey, which had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.3 percentage points, also showed that a majority of those questioned, 61.6%, would be very or somewhat likely to get the vaccine for the coronavirus or have already gotten it. However, 38.3% said they would be very or somewhat unlikely to get it.
Concern about side effects was the reason most often cited for not getting the vaccine among those who said they would be unlikely to get it. Among those individuals, 69.4% said the side effects were a major reason for them not to get the vaccine.
Survey respondents were divided over whether they approved of the way President Joe Biden has handled the coronavirus in his first month in office, with 41.5% either strongly or somewhat approving of his performance and 42.9% strongly or somewhat disapproving. However, 15.5% of those questioned were “unsure” of their answer.
By comparison, 47.2% of those questioned strongly or somewhat approved of the way former President Donald Trump handled the coronavirus throughout 2020 and 51.5% strongly or somewhat disapproved. However, the number of people answering “unsure” on Trump’s performance was only 2.3%.