COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - A new survey of 500 people in South Carolina found strong support for mandatory face mask regulations and serious concerns about sending children back to school for in-person instruction.
The poll was conducted earlier this month by Chernoff-Newman, a marketing firm based in Columbia.
Many cities and counties in South Carolina have passed ordinances requiring people to wear masks in public. The survey found 82% of people strongly or moderately agree with these policies.
South Carolina does not currently have a statewide face mask mandate.
Gov. Henry McMaster and health leaders in the state have urged people to wear masks, but the governor says a statewide mandate is not enforceable.
However, the poll found that 80% of people would strongly or moderately agree with a state mandate requiring face masks in public.
The survey also found a majority of people continue to be very concerned about returning to life as usual anytime soon.
Of the respondents, 32% said it would be 3 to 12 months before they were comfortable eating inside a dine-in restaurant. More than 18% said it would be a year before they felt comfortable eating out again. On the other side, 31% of people said they were already comfortable eating inside a dine-in restaurant.
The return to school has also been a hotly-debated topic in South Carolina.
McMaster has asked all school districts to give parents a choice of five days a week in-person learning or virtual learning. But many school districts plan to open for virtual-only instruction until the rate of COVID-19 begins to drop.
In the survey, 43% of people said it would be between 3 to 12 months before they would feel comfortable sending children to a school, camp, or daycare. And 17% of people said it would be a year before they felt comfortable doing this.
Almost 21% of respondents said they are already comfortable doing so.