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Health & Medicine

New Poll Shows Vast Majority Of Oregonians Support Stay At Home Measures

Apartments light up the Yard building in Portland, Ore., Saturday, April 18, 2020. Oregon Gov. Kate Brown ordered residents to stay home starting March 23 to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Apartments light up the Yard building in Portland, Ore., Saturday, April 18, 2020. Oregon Gov. Kate Brown ordered residents to stay home starting March 23 to slow the spread of COVID-19.

A poll released Wednesday shows, despite an upcoming protest and calls to ease restrictions, the vast majority of Oregonians support stay at home orders to protect against outbreaks of COVID-19. 

Portland-based DHM Research said its April 17-21 survey of 900 Oregonians showed 82% support restrictions that have helped flatten the disease curve in the state. Just 16% of Oregonians said they opposed the orders. The question had a margin of error of +/- 3.3%. 

The results mirror a national poll by AP-NORC, also released Wednesday. That survey showed 87% of American adults either felt social distancing measures in their state were appropriate or didn't go far enough. 

"The results are clear that Oregonians support the stay at home orders, and that support is broad across all areas of the state and political affiliations," DHM said in a press release about its poll. 

Some central and eastern Oregon politicians have called on Gov. Kate Brown to provide a clear road map for easing aspects of her stay at home orders by early next month. Those government officials said the orders have damaged the economy, and need to be eased in the coming weeks. 

But even in those communities east of the Cascades, 54% of people polled said they "strongly" support the governor's orders. Another 21% said they "somewhat" supported the orders. 

Activist groups with a range of causes, from anti-vaccination to people who want to undermine the federal government, have pointed to recent protests in state capitols as a sign that there is grassroots support to oppose stay at home orders. A similar protest is scheduled at the Oregon Capitol on May 2. 

Despite President Trump's calls on Twitter to "liberate" states with COVID-19 related orders in place, most Oregonians say they want to see widespread testing, contact tracing and a decline in new infections before the state reopens its economy. Those measures match what Oregon and federal health officials have called for before reopening many businesses. 

Though Oregon has seen a massive wave of jobless claims as a result of the shutdowns, even people who have lost income because of the pandemic said they want a reopening strategy guided by health data. 

When asked by DHM pollsters if Oregon should reopen its economy by June 1, no matter what, people who had lost income were no more likely to agree with that statement than people who had not lost any income during the pandemic. 

DHM Research, in partnership with the Oregon Values and Beliefs Center, completed its poll as a community service. 

Copyright 2020 Oregon Public Broadcasting

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