Majority of residents think state’s pandemic response going in ‘right direction’

A survey of Hawaii residents indicates a majority think the state government is managing the COVID-19 pandemic well.

According to a survey of 402 residents from throughout the state done by Honolulu-based research and marketing company SMS Hawaii, 64% of residents think the state government’s response to the pandemic is going in the “right direction,” with only 25% saying it is going in the wrong direction.

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The survey, administered between May 5 and May 10, revealed most respondents seem generally OK with maintaining social distancing practices. Respondents largely preferred lockdown policies should be maintained for at least two months or longer.

For example, 59% of respondents think masks should be required outside the home for another two months, 65% say 6-foot social distancing requirements should be maintained for the same period and 61% think tourists should be discouraged from coming to the state for two more months.

In addition, 47% say gyms should remain closed for the same period and 42% say dining establishments should do the same.

One of the only policies the majority of respondents think should be reversed immediately is the restriction of beaches and parks: 37% of respondents think that policy should be changed.

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A majority also would prefer to wait and see before visiting any reopening business; 69% said they would wait before visiting a shopping center and 75% would do the same before visiting a restaurant.

Fewer respondents, however, would be as cautious of barbershops: only 50% would wait before getting a haircut, with 37% claiming they would visit a barbershop or salon immediately.

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