A survey by the Department of Health and Social Services revealed a number of insights into what Alaskans think about COVID-19, what they’ve done in response, how they view the government’s response and more.
Of those surveyed, 82% know someone who has gotten the virus and the same number report that they’ve changed their habits or lifestyle in some way to avoid getting it themselves.
More specifically, 82% report wearing a face mask some or all of the time, 82% believe it’s necessary to change their daily habits to prevent COVID-19, and 75% believe masks are effective at preventing the spread of COVID-19.
There is also some agreement that the government has a big role in responding to the pandemic: 46% say that the government has not gone far enough in responding to the pandemic and 35% say it’s been appropriate.
Fifty percent of Alaskans support a statewide mask mandate, which Gov. Mike Dunleavy has resisted, insisting that cities should make their own rules. Only 25% support that approach, while 24% think there shouldn’t be mask mandates at all in Alaska.
Fifty-five percent of Alaskans support or somewhat support the government shutting down bars, restaurants, gyms and other retail establishments, while 44% oppose it.
When it comes to leadership, Alaskans believe Chief Medical Officer Dr. Anne Zink has done the most good in combating the virus in the state — 60% of Alaskans think she has done a good job and only 13% think she’s done a bad job. That compares to 57% good and 30% bad for Dr. Anthony Fauci, 52% good and 46% bad for Dunleavy, and 43% good and 56% bad for President Donald Trump.
Unsurprisingly, Alaskans have strong feelings about schools: 42% strongly support doing school in the classroom, 27% strongly support being virtual, 16% and 10% only “somewhat” support those positions, respectively. And 76% of parents supported requiring teachers and students to wear masks while in school.
Sixty-four percent of Alaskans said they would get the vaccine when it becomes available to them.
And, in the question with the broadest agreement, 89% of Alaskans believed the virus had been politicized.
The survey was conducted Nov. 24-25, 2020 by Dittman Research. In total, 406 Alaskans participated in the survey. Dittman said the survey had a margin of error of about 4.9%.