UW Survey: Wyoming majority support local mask requirements - Casper, WY Oil City News
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UW Survey: Wyoming majority support local mask requirements

(Dan Cepeda, Oil City File)

A recent survey published on Friday from the University of Wyoming’s Wyoming Survey and Analysis Center (WYSAC) has found that 56 percent of Wyoming residents say they “strongly or somewhat support local ordinances requiring face mask use in indoor public places.”

The survey found that 36 percent say they “strongly or somewhat oppose such measures.”

However, when asked about ordinances for face masks in outdoor public places 56 percent opposed and 36 percent would approve.

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The survey was conducted on Tuesday, July 14, and is the sixth of multiple surveys WYSAC is conducting to follow Wyoming’s opinions on COVID-19 topics.

 “A total of 504 Wyoming residents participated in the survey representing all Wyoming counties, with a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points,” said the document.

Researchers on the survey said support for mask-related topics has steadily risen since March.

Researchers found that comfort levels attending outdoor events with up to 250 people has decreased since June, with 45 percent saying they’d be comfortable. That’s down from 56 percent in June.

Concerning events with more than 250 people, just 40 percent said they’d be comfortable, down from 52 percent in June.

Other key takeaways regarding outdoor events this summer or fall from the survey, as published on Friday:

— 40 percent say they would be more likely to attend if face masks were required of all attendees, while 35 percent said they would be less likely.

— 31 percent say they would be more likely to attend if there were special “safe zones” or similarly designated areas where face mask use and social distancing were required and enforced; 25 percent say they would be less likely to attend.

— If face mask use were optional, 23 percent say they would be more likely to attend, while 40 percent say they would be less likely to attend.

— If all attendees had a temperature check upon entry, 38 percent say they would be more likely to attend, while 16 percent say they would be less likely to attend.

— If hand-sanitizing stations were available throughout the venue, 47 percent say they would be more likely to attend, while 4 percent say they would be less likely to attend.

— 42 percent say they would be more likely to attend an outdoor event if social distancing rules for attendees were enforced everywhere at the event, while 24 percent say they would be less likely to attend.

— If there were maximum occupancy/attendee numbers enforced to promote social distancing, 44 percent say they would be more likely to attend, while 17 percent say they would be less likely to attend.

— If there were no social distancing rules, 15 percent say they would be more likely to attend, while 53 percent say they would be less likely to attend an outdoor event this summer or fall.

The survey has also found since June 8 there is a 4 percent increase in people who support policies limiting gatherings, with 61 percent saying they support limits.

Conversely, support for closures of schools, daycare centers, bars and restaurants continues to decline, as does support for shelter-in-place orders.

Concerns about COVID have increased in nearly all aspects according to the survey, reversing a downward trend observed in March.

Key points as published in the article are:

— 25 percent say they are very anxious about the spread of COVID-19 in the United States (+13 points since June).

— 17 percent say they are very anxious about the spread of COVID-19 in Wyoming (+9 points since June).

— 45 percent think the worst is yet to come in the United States (+19 points since June).

— 42 percent think the worst is yet to come in Wyoming (+14 points since June).

— Asked if they think COVID-19 is a real threat or blown out of proportion, 53 percent believe it is a real threat, an increase of 9 points since June.

— 23 percent of residents now say they are worried someone in their immediate family might catch COVD-19, an increase of 9 points since June.

Politically, Wyoming follows national trends with overall approval of local government’s handling of the pandemic, and disapproval with the federal response.

The survey shows Governor Mark Gordon’s approval rating concerning COVID is high, with 66 percent saying they strongly or somewhat approve.

However, approval of President Trump’s handling of COVID had decreased in Wyoming, with 49 percent saying they strongly or somewhat approve.

To see the survey methodology, chart, figures and complete survey results, go to https://wysac.uwyo.edu/wysac/reports/View/6695 .


The Latest Statistics from the Wyoming Department of Health:


What to do if you are feeling sick: In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Casper-Natrona County Health Department says that people who are feeling sick or exhibiting symptoms should contact their primary physician.

If you do not have a primary care provider, and live in Natrona County, please contact the COVID-19 hotline, operated by the Casper-Natrona County Department of Health. The line is open Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm 577-9892. Hotline services are intended for Natrona County residents and may not be able to provide specific information to persons calling from out of county.

Officials ask that you please do not self-report to the Emergency Room. Persons experiencing problems breathing should call 9-11.

For general inquiries and non-symptom related questions about COVID-19, please contact the Casper-Natrona County Health Department via email: covid@cnchd.org


  • Practice Social Distancing by putting distance between yourself and other people. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home if you’re sick
  • Cover coughs and sneezes. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
  • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.

A list of area closures attributed to COVID-19 are available here.