Survey: Normal is months away, say most Oregonians
Despite some protesters demanding the state and national economies be immediately reopened, most Oregonians expect it to take months before they feel safe returning to normal activities, according to a new survey.
The median number ranged from two months for getting a haircut to six months for attending a major sporting event. Other timeframes were three months for dining in at a restaurant and five months to travel on an airplane.
The DHM Research survey of 900 adults was released on Thursday, April 23. it was conducted from April 17 to 21.
Oregonians put the most trust in public health officials when deciding whether its safe to return to normal activities. Fifty-eight of residents have a very high or high level of trust in the Centers for Disease Control when it comes to making decisions about when it is safe to reopen businesses, schools and other places. Similarly, 55% of the state's residents have high levels of trust in the Oregon Health Authority.
Trust in Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and President Donald Trump is lower and much more partisan. Only 36% trust Brown and just 28% trust Trump.
Moreover, this trust is very partisan. For Democrats, 58% have high levels of trust in Brown compared to just 6% for Trump. Likewise, 68% of Republicans have high levels of trust in Trump versus 21% for Brown.
The survey also found that widespread testing, effective treatments, hospital capacity, and lowering the rate of new COVID-19 infections will be important for Oregonians deciding when it is safe to return to normal activities.
Fifty-eight percent say that the availability of widespread testing will be very important when deciding to return to normal activities, while 56% say a low number of new infections will also be very important, which can only be known if testing is available.
Oregonians would support the state reporting positive COVID-19 cases at multiple levels, the survey found. The state currently reports positive COVID-19 cases at the county level. But between 77% to 89% of Oregonians would also support the state reporting cases by city (89%), ZIP code (84%), specific nursing homes (83%), workplaces (82%), and jails and prisons (77%).
Effective treatments, hospital capacity, and vaccines are also important to Oregonians. But these results make clear that without widespread testing most Oregonians will be reluctant to return to normal activities.
Large numbers of Oregonians would not immediately self-isolate if they learned they were in contact with a COVID-19 positive person, however. When asked what they would do if they learned they were in either close or casual contact for a short time with a person who tested positive for COVID-19, majorities said they would self-isolate immediately (63% close contact; 54% casual contact).
But large numbers said that they would only self-isolate if they developed symptoms (22%; 31%), tested positive themselves (5%; 6%) or were uncertain what they would do (8%; 6%).
The research was completed as a community service by DHM Research in partnership with the Oregon Values and Beliefs Center. Both organizations are independent and non-partisan. DHM is a Certified B Corporation and OVBC is an Oregon charitable nonprofit corporation.
You can find the DHM research results here.
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