Poll shows Utahns are still wary of engaging in many activities because of coronavirus

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Many Utahns are still uncomfortable engaging in activities that before the coronavirus would have been everyday occurrences, like going to church, or eating out at a restaurant or flying on a commercial airline, a recent poll for UtahPolicy.com and KUTV 2News finds.

One of the surprising Y2 Analytics results is that 46 percent of “very active” members of the LDS faith say they are “uncomfortable” in going to their church services which have reopened in recent week, because of fear of catching the virus.


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And throughout the various activities polled by Y2, women are much more warry of going out and doing things than are men — sometimes 15 percentage-points more cautious than men.

Here are few of the findings:

57 percent of Utahns say they are “uncomfortable” going to a religious service, 43 percent say they are “comfortable” going to church.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints leaders announced several weeks ago that in-person church meetings will start again, with proper virus safeguards in place.

LDS Temples are also opening around the country and in Utah, if the virus outbreaks are reasonably being controlled by local governments and health departments.

Still, only 54 percent of “very active” Mormons told Y2 they feel “comfortable” in going back to religious services.

67 percent of Utahns said they do feel good about going back into retail stores to shop for goods, yet many high-traffic malls like City Creek still don’t see that many folks back shopping.

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In-service dining is back in Utah. But Y2 finds that only 58 percent of Utahns said they feel comfortable eating inside of a restaurant, 42 percent said they are uncomfortable doing so.

Some other states, with quickly-growing coronavirus cases, have turned back and have outlawed in-person dining.

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert is resisting turning back from “yellow” in most of the state to “orange,” which would stop in-person dining, and require the wearing of face masks.

He has set an Aug. 1 deadline, now just weeks away, to decide if some areas of the state must move backward in opening up.

Two-thirds of Utahns say they are uncomfortable in going back to their gyms to exercise. Some gyms have reopened now, but are taking careful precautions, like social distance on exercise machines and frequent cleaning of apparatuses.

67 percent of Utahns say they don’t feel good about attending an indoor play, concert or other arts activities. And, indeed, local arts groups and musicians have canceled their fall schedules.

And 80 percent of Utahns said they don’t feel good about taking an international airline flight. Not a good number there.

The new Salt Lake City International Airport facilities are still scheduled to open in mid-September. However, the airport board has been warned that it may take years before the pre-virus number of flyers will be back in the new terminals and on flights again.

There is some good news in the new poll’s findings:

56 percent of Utahns said they are comfortable flying commercial inside of the U.S. However, 45 percent said they are not.

92 percent said they feel OK about taking an in-state car trip.

86 percent said they feel good about visiting a Utah state park.

And 60 percent said they are OK with staying in a hotel or motel.

Y2 polled 1,153 folks from June 9-17, with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percent.