Poll: Hawaii residents critical of state’s COVID-19 response

The University of Hawai’i Public Policy Center (PCC) released results from a statewide survey on Monday, highlighting Hawaii residents’ outlooks on the COVID-19 pandemic.


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The survey found that Hawaii residents are critical of the state’s response to the pandemic, particularly as it relates to transparency. Nearly half of respondents (49%) rated the state’s overall response as 1-4 on a ten-point scale. Broken down, 44% gave low marks for the state’s response in informing residents about issues facing the community, and 52% gave low marks for the state’s effort at being open and transparent to the public.


Image: University of Hawai’i Public Policy Center


The poll found encouraging results related to individual and community actions to slow the spread of the virus.  Nearly all (99%) of the respondents reported wearing a mask all or most of the time while visiting stores or businesses, and 84% say they wear a mask most of the time when they are outside in a public space. However, the frequency of mask wearing drops off when individuals visit family and friends.

Eighty-seven percent of residents report that they agree that it is important to avoid large gatherings of 5 or more people. But, results were split when respondents were asked about their satisfaction level with community adherence to state and local COVID-19 guidelines, with 52% reporting they are satisfied and 48% unsatisfied.

Poll results also indicate that Hawaii residents expect COVID-19 to have long lasting impacts on their lives. The majority of respondents (85%) believe that COVID-19 will have either very serious (59%) or serious (26%) long term health impacts.

Despite most respondents believing that COVID will have long-term health impacts, just 51% report they plan to receive a vaccine when one becomes available. Thirty-two percent report they are unsure and 15% report they will not get the vaccine.

“Men are more likely to say that they would definitely get the vaccine (61%) than are women (40%). Japanese respondents are the most likely to say they will get the vaccine (71%), while far fewer Caucasians (45%), Filipinos (40%), and Hawaiians (38%) plan to do so. Income is also a strong predictor of residents’ feelings about a vaccine. Only 32% of Hawai‘i’s poorest households plan to receive a vaccine, while 72% of households with incomes over $150,000 think they will get one,” reads the survey.

Thirty-seven percent of residents also say they do not anticipate their lives returning to normal over the next year. And 54% rated their personal finance concerns due to COVID-19 between 7-10 on a 10-point scale.


Image: University of Hawai’i Public Policy Center


Similar to a June survey from PCC, 8 in 10 people report they do not want tourists visiting their communities right now.