While most coronavirus-related policies are expiring and cases remain low in California and across the country, officials are closely watching BA.2—a subvariant of omicron—that is fueling a global uptick in coronavirus cases. Nearly eight in ten Californians (79%) say that when it comes to the coronavirus, the worst is behind us—a share that has fluctuated over time with falling and rising case numbers in the state and the nation. But most also think it is at least somewhat important to control the spread.
More than six in ten Californians are in favor of efforts to control the spread of COVID-19, even if this means having some restrictions (46% favor strongly, 18% favor somewhat). Fewer say it is more important to have no restrictions on normal activities, even if it hurts efforts to control the spread (23% strongly favor, 9% somewhat). Partisans are divided, with most Democrats strongly in favor of controlling the spread and most Republicans strongly in favor of having no restrictions. Independents are more evenly split on this issue.
There are surprisingly large gender differences on this issue: women (57%) are far more likely to strongly favor controlling the spread than men (35%). Across racial/ethnic groups, Latinos are most likely to strongly favor controlling the spread. Californians with lower educational levels and incomes are more likely to strongly support controlling the spread than those with higher educational and income levels. Support varies across the state’s regions: 60% in the San Francisco Bay Area are strongly in favor, while only 36% hold this view in the Central Valley.
A majority of Californians (57%) favor requiring proof of the COVID-19 vaccine to be able to enter large outdoor gatherings or certain indoor spaces such as restaurants, bars, and gyms, while 41% oppose this requirement. Support was similar last September, when 61% were in favor. As was the case last September, there is a partisan divide on this issue: 71% of Democrats favor requiring proof of vaccination, while 72% of Republicans and a slim majority of independents (52%) oppose this requirement.
Women (62%) are more likely than men (52%) to favor requiring proof of vaccines. Across age groups, somewhat similar majorities of adults age 18 to 45 (59%) and 45 and older (55%) support this requirement. Latinos (65%) are most likely across racial/ethnic groups to favor requiring proof of vaccination. Support for requiring proof is higher among Californians with higher education levels as well as those with lower incomes. Half or more across regions favor the requirement; support is strongest in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Even as many Californians express optimism about the pandemic, most favor continuing to control the spread and requiring proof of vaccination in certain spaces. As California and the country consider how best to move forward as the pandemic evolves, the PPIC Statewide Survey will continue to track views on the coronavirus and related policies.