74% of Californians believe the worst of the pandemic is behind us

According to a statewide survey conducted by the Public Policy Institute of California on Californians and their Government, 74% of Californians say the worst of the pandemic is behind us. This is an increase of 16% from January.


Get the latest state-specific policy intelligence for the health care sector delivered to your inbox.


One in five (21%) say the worst is yet to come, compared to the more than one in three (37%) who held this view in January. Solid majorities across regions and demographic groups say the worst is behind us with the pandemic. 

At the same time that Californians are expressing growing optimism about the pandemic, concerns about getting the coronavirus have declined. Less than half of Californians say they are either very concerned (18%) or somewhat concerned (29%) about getting the virus and needing hospitalization.

However, there are racial and economic disparities in COVID-19 concerns. Across racial and ethnic groups, African Americans (35%), Latinos (25%) and Asian Americans (19%) are more likely than whites (9%) to be very concerned about getting the coronavirus and requiring hospitalization. Californians with annual household incomes of under $40,000 (24%) and $40,000 to $80,000 (22%) are much more likely than higher-income Californians (9% of those earning $80,000 or more) to be very concerned.

Sixty-one percent of Californians say they have already received the vaccine (33%) or that they will definitely get it (28%). About one in five continue to say that they will either probably not (7%) or definitely not (14%) get the vaccine. 

Across racial and ethnic groups, African Americans remain the most likely to say they will probably or definitely not get the vaccine (29%); 22% of Latinos, 20% of whites and 5% of Asian Americans say they will probably not or definitely not get the vaccine.

About half of Californians say the state is doing an excellent (14%) or good (38%) job of distributing the COVID-19 vaccine, while four in 10 say the state is doing a fair (29%) or poor (15%) job. 

At both the state and federal levels, policymakers recently created legislation to provide major economic aid. Both of these have strong support among Californians. Seven in 10 (75% of adults, 70% of which are likely voters) support the COVID-19 relief package signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom in late February, with views breaking along party lines: 90% of Democrats, 71% of independents and 37% of Republicans favor it. Support is highest in the San Francisco Bay Area (81%) and Los Angeles (78%).

As federal policymakers consider comprehensive immigration reform, 85% of Californians say there should be a path to citizenship. When asked about providing health care coverage for undocumented immigrants, an idea that is currently working its way through the state legislature, 66% of Californians approve. 

Support for health care coverage for undocumented immigrants is far higher among Democrats (82%) and independents (57%) than among Republicans (20%). Overwhelming majorities of Latinos (83%), African Americans (77%) and Asian Americans (70%) are in favor, as are a slim majority of whites (51%).

Ninety percent of Californians say that housing affordability is a big problem (61%) or somewhat of a problem (29%) in their part of the state. Forty-three percent of Californians say that housing costs are making them seriously consider moving, including 33% who say they are considering moving out of the state. Across regions, residents of the Bay Area (49%) are most likely to say they’re considering moving due to housing costs.