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Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association release poll findings on COVID-19 safety practices, vaccinations

Coronavirus COVID-19 generic
Coronavirus COVID-19 generic(WRDW)
Published: Oct. 13, 2020 at 4:41 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WHSV) — The Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association released the findings of a statewide poll, conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy, which asked 800 registered Virginian voters how they felt about Virginia hospitals, public concerns about pandemic and safety practices, vaccinations and views on insurance companies during the coronavirus pandemic.

The study found that two-thirds of Virginia voters believe the government should reimburse hospitals for expenses incurred in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It also found more than four in five people support congressional approval of additional pandemic relief funds for health care providers.

According to poll findings, 39 percent of participants indicated they have had delayed health care, and one-third of that group said they plan to reschedule within the next month. 10 percent said they won’t reschedule until after a COVID-19 vaccine is available.

When it came to participants' views on hospitals, 92 percent of people viewed Virginia hospitals favorably, and 84 percent feel safe returning to a hospital or doctor’s office. 83 percent said they have had a positive experience in Virginia hospitals, according to the poll findings.

3 in 4 people said hospitals and health care providers have done a good job of keeping the public informed during COVID-19. More people (57 percent) said they are unaware, rather than aware (43 percent), that Virginia hospitals face $3 million in losses this year due to the pandemic.

When it came to the public’s concerns about safety practices during the pandemic, 88 percent said they take the COVID-19 pandemic seriously. 65 percent of people said they know someone who has contracted the virus, and one-third know someone who became seriously ill or died as a result of the virus.

Nearly two-thirds said they know someone who has lost a job due to the pandemic, according to poll findings.

More than 94 percent of people say they practice social distancing, 73 percent of that group indicate they are “very consistent” about social distancing, and 17 percent saying they are “somewhat consistent.”

The poll’s findings say that 89 percent of people practice wearing masks in public (82 percent of that group said they “always” wear masks in public, and 14 percent of that group said they wear masks “most of the time.”).

Among those who do not wear masks regularly, the most frequently cited reasons, according to the poll, are non-use when outdoors (42 percent), skepticism about whether masks are helpful (27 percent), personal freedom concerns (12 percent), discomfort (12 percent) and personal medical conditions (6 percent).

Concerning vaccinations, 71 percent of participants say they plan to get a flu shot this year. 27 percent are more likely to get a flu shot this year with COVID-19 present alongside flu season. One-third of participants are “very likely” to get vaccinated, while 17 percent said “somewhat likely," 26 percent are “very unlikely” and 12 percent are “somewhat unlikely.”

When it came to views on insurance companies during the pandemic, 76 percent of participants believed it is unfair for insurance companies to make record profits in a pandemic. A majority of 56 percent view health insurance companies unfavorably, according to the poll’s findings. 30 percent viewed insurance companies favorably.

The poll’s findings say that 59 percent of participants believe that Virginia’s Certificate of Public Need program should be kept in place, opposed to 14 percent who believe it should be eliminated.

You can read the entirety of the poll’s findings here.

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