The majority of Americans still support COVID-19-related vaccination and masking mandates in the nation’s schools, although declining as intense protests at board of education meetings appear to have taken a toll.
The poll comes as New Jersey reported that residents receiving the booster shot had passed one million on Nov. 18.
The Monmouth University Poll found that vaccination mandates for healthcare and air travel workers remains above 50%, although there is declining popularity for requiring vaccinations for restaurant patrons. Additionally, the poll found strong support for President Joe Biden’s handling of the pandemic.
Support for School COVID-19 Measures
Sixty-one percent of the American public supported requirements that students, teachers, and staff wear masks while in school, which wavered from the 66% recorded in September.
Regarding vaccine mandates for both teachers and staff, support remained steady at 59% compared to the 60% reported in September. Support was also steady for vaccination requirements of students age 12 and older (53%, compared to 51% in September.)
However, support for students in the newly-eligible 5 to 11 age group was more tepid, with just 44% of the general public and 34% of parents saying they would endorse vaccine mandates for this demographic.
“The dramatic images of parents protesting at school board meetings has not shifted overall public opinion on mandates one way or the other since the beginning of the school year,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.
Opinion Steady for Other Industries
The survey found opinion on vaccine mandates in other settings hasn’t shifted much since September, including the healthcare sector (61%), airplane industry (57%), and general office settings (51%).
Each of the results was down two percentage points from September, with one exception: restauranting dining.
Overall, only 39% of Americans believed you should need to prove your vaccination to enter a restaurant for a meal. This was down seven points from September.
President Biden still enjoys a majority of the American’s support, with 53% saying he is doing a good job. In September, 52% rated his job as positive. State governors also saw an increase in support, with 60% saying they were doing a good job. This number was 56% in September.
The number of COVID-19 vaccines administered in New Jersey totaled 13,207,553 in-state, plus an additional 506,032 administered out-of-state for a grand total of 13,713,585 as of Nov. 18. Of those who have received the vaccine, 5,927,110 received their second dose or the one jab Johnson & Johnson dose in state and another 215,982 out of state, bringing those fully vaccinated to 6,143,092.
State officials reported boosters and third shots of 565,391 for Pfizer and 420,123 for Moderna. A total of 17,814 New Jerseyans have received their Johnson & Johnson booster shot. Overall, 1,003,328 have received a booster or third shot.
In North Jersey, Bergen County has delivered 1,465,214 doses (653,438 fully vaccinated), Essex 1,147,669 doses (515,931), Hudson 1,014,695 doses (464,123), Morris 796,501 doses (352,285), Passaic 699,416 doses (320,668), Sussex 188,589 doses (85,436), and Warren 123,556 doses (55,557).
As of Nov. 18, the cumulative number of confirmed coronavirus cases in New Jersey was 1,064,711 with 2,122 total new PCR cases. There were 538 probable cases, bringing the cumulative total of antigen tests to 161,217. The total number of individual cases for the state is 1,225,928.
As for those that have passed, the state reported 10 confirmed deaths, bringing that total to 25,411. The state listed probable deaths at 2,819, bringing the overall total to 28,230. State officials noted seven deaths occurred in the last 24 hours of reporting that have not yet been lab confirmed.
For North Jersey counties on Nov. 18, Bergen had a total of 192 new confirmed cases and 35 new probable cases, Essex 163 new cases and 15 new probable case, Hudson 113 new cases and 16 new probable cases, Morris 116 new confirmed cases and 31 new probable cases, Passaic 110 new cases and four new probable cases, Sussex 37 new cases and 23 new probable cases, and Warren 40 new cases and eight new probable cases.
Of the total confirmed deaths in North Jersey, Essex County has the most with 2,860, followed by Bergen at 2,702, Hudson with 2,173, Passaic at 1,823, Morris at 1,046, Sussex at 276, and Warren County at 232.
In regards to probable deaths reported Nov. 15, Bergen has 311, Essex has 310, Morris has 266, Hudson has 223, Passaic has 206, Sussex has 71 and Warren has 26.
Of the 5,804,446 fully vaccinated individuals studied as of Nov. 1, 47,559 New Jersey residents have tested positive for COVID who were fully vaccinated, resulting in 1,027 COVID-related hospitalizations and 279 COVID-related deaths. All those are less than 1% in each category.
In the week of Oct. 25-31, breakthroughs accounted for 17.2% of all new cases (2,003 of 11,615), 1.1% of new hospilizations (eight of 744), and none of the 113 deaths.
As for the rate of transmission reported Nov. 18, it increased to 1.15 from 1.10 the day before. The daily rate of infections from those tested Nov. 13 was 6.5%; by region, the rate was 5.3% in the North, 7.7% in the Central region and 7.8% in the South.
The state reported 765 patients were hospitalized; by region, there were 284 in the North, 232 in the Central and 249 in the South. Of those hospitalized, 166 are in intensive care units and 80 on ventilators. A total of 114 patients were discharged in the last 24 hour reporting period.
Officials have continually cited transmission rate, hospitalizations, intensive care units, ventilators and positivity rate as health data they rely on to track how the coronavirus is being contained in New Jersey, guiding them in determining when restrictions have to be tightened or lifted.
In regards to cases related to in-school transmissions as of Nov. 17, the state has tracked 179 school outbreaks and 1,026 cases linked to those outbreaks since the 2021/2022 school year starting Aug. 7, up 19 outbreaks and 166 cases from the week previous.
Outbreaks are defined as three or more laboratory confirmed COVID-19 cases among students or staff with onsets within a 14 day period, linked within the school setting, do not share a household, and were not identified as close contacts of each other in another setting during standard case investigation or contact tracing.
For North Jersey in the new report, Passaic County has eight confirmed outbreak with 102 cases, Bergen County has 16 confirmed outbreak with 74 cases, Sussex has 15 confirmed outbreak with 58 cases, Morris County has nine confirmed outbreaks with 58 cases, Essex County has eight confirmed outbreak with 34 cases and Hudson County has eight confirmed outbreaks with 28 cases. No outbreaks were reported in Warren County.
Long-term Care Facilities
Health officials noted 121 long-term care facilities are currently reporting at least one case of COVID-19, accounting for a total of 1,185 of the cases, broken down between 646 residents and 539 staff.
Cumulatively, 1,829 long-term care facilities reported a case infecting 34,080 residents and 23,291 staff, for a total of 57,371.
The state’s official death total will now be reported as those that are lab confirmed, sits at 8,669 on Nov. 18. The facilities are reporting to the state 8,006 residents deaths and 145 staff deaths.