Majority of Coloradans think closures should remain until more testing available, survey finds

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DENVER – Nearly two-thirds of Coloradans believe measures like the closure of businesses should remain in place to slow the spread of COVID-19 while more testing becomes available even though many have been affected financially, according to a poll released Monday.

Sixty-four percent of the 1,000 people polled in the survey said they felt those measures were necessary, compared to 29% who said Colorado should ease up on measures even if it means more people contract and spread the virus. People living in urban (70%) and suburban (67%) were much more likely to choose the first option than people living in rural Colorado (53%).

The release comes on the same day that most of Colorado – except for most Denver metro-area counties and San Miguel County – moves to the “safer at home” order issued by Gov. Jared Polis Sunday and begins to allow some businesses to gradually open starting Friday or next Monday.

The poll was released Monday, commissioned by Healthier Colorado and the Colorado Health Foundation and was fielded by Colorado-based Magellan Strategies from April 15 to April 21.

It asked 1,000 adult Coloradans a range of questions via online and phone surveys on the COVID-19 outbreak and response and aimed to, according to the interested parties, measure the concerns and experiences of Coloradans and help shape policymaking.

The poll found that 43% of respondents feel the worst of the outbreak is yet to come, compared to 35% who said the worst was behind us and 21% who said they were unsure. Women and those making under $75,000 a year were much more likely to say the worst was still yet to come.

Those who were polled find the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment the most trustworthy source of information during the outbreak, with 57% of respondents finding it “extremely” or “very” trustworthy. About 55% of respondents said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was “extremely” or “very” trustworthy.

About half of respondents said they felt Gov. Polis was extremely or very trustworthy, compared to 29% who find President Donald Trump a trustworthy source of information and 20% of respondents who believe the news media is a trusted source.

However, 46% of respondents said President Trump was “not trustworthy at all.”

About 35% of respondents said they felt the federal government should coordinate the COVID-19 response while 56% said states should take the lead.

The poll also tried to get an outline of what Coloradans are experiencing financially because of the COVID-19 outbreak and the stay-at-home order.

Forty-seven percent of respondents said either they or someone in their household has either lost their job (16%), lost income (18%) or had their hours reduced (13%) because of COVID-19. But among 18-29-year-olds, that number grew to 64%.

Fifty-seven percent of respondents said they were very or somewhat concerned that they or someone would lose one of those things in the next six months.

But about half of those polled said their financial situation was the same as before – though people on Medicaid (66%) said their financial situation was worse than it was before the outbreak began. Seventeen percent said they believed their financial situation would be worse a year from now than it is now.

The release is one of two planned for this week, according to the organizations that released the data. On Thursday, another release is expected to cover issues related to mental health and the needs of Coloradans in their daily lives, as well as the full toplines.

The survey has a ±3.1% margin of error and was weighted to reflect the U.S. Census Bureau’s estimated Colorado adult demographics, with an oversampling of African-American respondents, Magellan Strategies said.

Healthier Colorado describes itself as a nonpartisan nonprofit “dedicated to raising the voices of Coloradans in the public policy process to improve the health of our state’s residents.”

For more on the poll, click here.