Siena Poll: Majority of New Yorkers believe opening schools is too great a risk

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Categories: -The Daily Gazette, News, Schenectady County

LOUDONVILLE — The majority of New Yorkers believe that opening schools up for in-person learning is too great of a risk, according to the latest poll from Siena College.

The poll found that 62% of New Yorkers believed this, while 32% of residents disagreed.

“As schools across New York grapple with whether to or how to open in the fall, by nearly two to one, New Yorkers say completely opening schools runs too great a risk,” SCRI Director Don Levy said. “Despite recognizing how hard not opening is on kids and their families, only a third say that the negative effect on students is too great and that we have to bring the children back to school.”

In the college’s latest poll, New Yorkers were asked for their thoughts on reopening schools, remote learning for college students, dining in-person at restaurants and more.  The poll was conducted between Aug. 20–27, 2020 by “random telephone calls” to 343 New Yorkers , with 402 responses drawn from a “proprietary panel” of New Yorkers. The Siena College Research Institute is reporting the data at a 95% confidence level with a margin of error of + 4.0 points.

According to the poll, 66% of New Yorkers say colleges should only offer remote education, while 27% disagree.

And in terms of the pandemic itself, the poll finds that just over half of New Yorkers (51%) believe that the worst of the pandemic is still to come. This is down from 62% from two months ago. Eighty-six percent of residents are concerned there will be another large COVID outbreak this fall.

“As New York continues to reopen, large majorities are NOT comfortable with participating in 5 of 6 indoor activities,” a release from SCRI read. “Fifty-eight percent are not comfortable with dining indoors in a restaurant, 72 percent with having a drink at a bar, 70 percent with working out at a gym, 73 percent with watching a movie at a theater and 65 percent with going to a bowling alley.”

New Yorkers, according to the findings, are more comfortable with visiting a museum with 45% saying they are comfortable and 47% saying that they are not.

On a personal level, 42% of New Yorkerss say that they have gained weight since the pandemic started while 32% have lost weight. And 51% have reconnected with old friends or distant relatives, while 41% have developed a new hobby. Thirteen percent, on the other hand, have adopted a new pet.

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