Most Virginians support vaccine and mask mandates

Those who speak out loudly, and too often rudely, claim they are the majority. Polls show otherwise

Some in Floyd County have spoken out, often rudely, that most people in the Old Dominion, oppose vaccine mandates and the use of masks to protect all of us from the COVID-19 in schools and workplaces Coronavirus have been proven wrong, if results of the latest poll in Virginia are correct.

“About a month into the school year, a clear majority of Virginia voters support coronavirus vaccine mandates in schools,” reports The Washington Post reports Thursday.

While the margins of support are the highest in the urban areas of Northern Virginia, the Post-Schar School poll says, the majorities are retained in other regions, including rural communities, of the Commonwealth.

The Post adds:

The findings come after a wave of new coronavirus vaccine requirements have been adopted by school districts and businesses nationwide as the highly contagious delta variant fueled a renewed surge of the virus, and overlapping with President Biden’s announcement this month that the Labor Department will require all companies with at least 100 employees to mandate vaccination or weekly testing of their workers.

The Post-Schar School poll also finds that about 7 in 10 registered voters support Virginia’s statewide mask mandate for teachers, staff and students in school buildings, including at least 6 in 10 voters across different regions of the commonwealth.

Two-thirds support school districts requiring teachers and staff to be vaccinated. Several Northern Virginia counties along with the city of Richmond require public school teachers and staff to either be vaccinated or to submit to regular testing. An additional 6 in 10 support districts requiring high school athletes to be vaccinated.

A 55 percent majority support businesses broadly requiring employees who come into work to be vaccinated. Support is lower for restaurants requiring customers to be vaccinated, a policy adopted in New York City.

Full poll results and how the survey was conducted

Support for a school staff vaccine mandate is higher in Virginia than the country as a whole, with 67 percent support in the state compared to 59 percent nationally, according to a September Post-ABC poll. The polls find similar support in Virginia and nationwide for businesses requiring employees to get vaccinated and for schools requiring masks.

–The Washington Post

Yes, we know that some in rural outposts like Floyd County dismiss reports by a newspaper like the Post as “subversive” or “liberal,” but I have had the pleasure of working with the Post often over the past 40 years, including coverage of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the Virginia Tech Massacre and know, as a professional journalist, that the paper adheres to the highest standards of our profession. The long list of Pulitzer Prizes awarded to the Post over the years supports that.

Most of the criticism I see around here comes from those who watch the right-wing partisan slants of Fox News, which shows that they want information slanted to their biases and not the truth.

The latest poll shows:

A vaccine mandate for high school athletes — which will go into effect in November in Fairfax and Loudoun counties as well as in Arlington — also has greater support in the D.C. suburbs, with 8 in 10 registered voters there supporting it. Support ranges between 52 percent and 60 percent in other regions of the state. Opinion breaks along partisan lines on this as well, with 90 percent of Democrats statewide supportive of a vaccine mandate for high school athletes while 56 percent of Republicans oppose it.

Support for employer vaccine mandates also varies sharply along partisan lines, with more than 8 in 10 Democrats and just over half of independents supporting businesses requiring employees who come into work to be vaccinated, while about 6 in 10 Republicans oppose this. Support for the policy is far higher in the D.C. suburbs than the rest of the state.

–The Washington Post

About what we might expect. As a Southern-born Floyd County resident and a father, I support the vaccine and mask mandates. Our lives and the lives of our children must expect no less.

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