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As the State Reopens, Some Californians Are Still Worried about COVID-19

Dean Bonner June 9, 2021
Woman Placing Open Sign In Store Getty 1279940677

As California prepares to reopen on June 15, Californians appear to be much less worried about the coronavirus than they were last May—and the shares reporting that they are vaccinated continue to grow. However, as our May 2021 PPIC Statewide Survey highlights, some Californians remain wary of the coronavirus, and the shares who have gotten the vaccine differ across groups.

Concern about getting the coronavirus is dramatically lower than it was last May. A majority of Californians in our May 2020 Statewide Survey were very (24%) or somewhat (34%) concerned about getting the coronavirus. Today, fewer than three in ten say they are very (10%) or somewhat concerned (18%).

While concern has dropped across all groups, it is relatively high among people of color and lower-income Californians; both groups are more likely to work in essential jobs. Latinos (42%), Asian Americans (34%), and African Americans (32%) are much more likely than whites (14%) to be concerned. Californians in households making less than $40,000 per year are more concerned (40%) than those in households making $40,000 to under $80,000 (29%) and those making $80,000 or more (15%) to say they are very or somewhat concerned.

California began vaccinating its residents about six months ago, and two in three Californians report already having received the vaccine. Although Californians are increasingly getting vaccinated and vaccine hesitancy has decreased, lower-income residents (59%) lag behind upper-income residents (64% $40,000 to under $80,000, 79% $80,000 or more), and African Americans (56%) and Latinos (60%) are less likely than whites (72%) and Asian Americans (80%) to say they have gotten the vaccine.

Shares of Californians Who Have Gotten the COVID-19 Vaccine Vary Across Racial/Ethnic Groups

California is moving beyond the Blueprint for a Safer Economy, and Governor Newsom has announced that the statewide mask mandate will largely end on June 15. As the state moves toward a “new normal,” the PPIC Statewide Survey will track and analyze Californians’ views on post-pandemic life.

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