OAKLAND, May 8, 2020 — Californians’ support for statewide shelter-in-place orders to stop the spread of coronavirus remains strong, with the overwhelming majority (71% of those surveyed) preferring to shelter-in-place as long needed, even if it means continued damage to the economy, according to the latest tracking poll from the California Health Care Foundation and survey firm Ipsos.

The new poll, which was conducted between May 1 and May 5, also sought to understand whether Californians were willing or able to comply with the next phase of COVID-19 containment, which is likely to include “contact tracing” and more targeted quarantine policies. Additional details can be found below.

With widespread stay-at-home orders still in effect, the poll finds support for sheltering in place is strong no matter the setting in which Californians live: 73% of urban residents support continuing to stay at home compared to 72% of rural Californians, and 68% of suburban residents.

In the new survey, 17% of respondents said the state should stop sheltering in place to stimulate the economy even if it means increasing the spread of coronavirus—up from 11% two weeks ago. Some 73% of lower-income Californians—those with incomes at or below 138% of the federal poverty guidelines (PDF)—support the stay-at-home orders.

“Significant numbers of Californians continue to support sheltering in place, with relatively modest changes in the level of support or opposition to these orders in the last two weeks,” says Kristof Stremikis, director of market analysis and insight at the California Health Care Foundation. “Most Californians can also meet some of the basic requirements for the next phase of the statewide response, which is expected to focus heavily on contact tracing and more targeted quarantines. That readiness is not universal, especially in lower-income communities and communities of color.”    

One strategy to contain spread of COVID-19 once shelter-in-place orders are relaxed is targeted quarantine. It includes asking people to remain physically separate from others, including others in their own household, for up to 14 days. Eighty-one percent (81%) of those who live with at least one other person say they have access to a separate bedroom at home, and 58% say they have access to both a separate bedroom and a separate bathroom. Among Californians with low incomes, 74% of those who live with at least one other person have access to a separate bedroom, and 38% have access to a separate bedroom and a separate bathroom.

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A major contact tracing effort would also rely on the willingness of Californians to share personal information with public health departments. Significant numbers of Californians (60%) say they are willing to share personal information—a number largely unchanged from two weeks ago. Forty-nine percent of Black Californians and 50% of Californians with low incomes are willing to share information.

Large majorities (84%) say they are avoiding unnecessary trips out of the home “all” or “most of the time”—with 81% saying they now routinely wear a mask in public spaces. Some 93% of respondents say they stay at least six feet away from others in public spaces all or most of the time, and 93% say they frequently wash their hands with soap and water all or most of the time.

As the state enters its third month of stay-at-home orders, 70% of Californians say their mental health is “about the same” as it was over the previous seven days—about the same level reported two weeks ago. The percentage of respondents saying their mental health has gotten “a little” or “a lot” worse declined from 21% to 18%.

The full CHCF poll can be found here: California Health Care Foundation is dedicated to advancing meaningful, measurable improvements in the way the health care delivery system provides care to the people of California, particularly those with low incomes and those whose needs are not well served by the status quo. We work to ensure that people have access to the care they need, when they need it, at a price they can afford.