BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Marylanders are split evenly over whether schools in the state should continue virtual education amid the coronavirus pandemic or move to a hybrid in-person model, the latest Gonzales College poll released Tuesday found.

The poll found 37% of respondents favored virtual learning only while the same percentage were in favor of a combination of in-person and virtual learning. Twenty percent said schools should move to all in-person education.

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Nearly half of Democrats — 47% — favored online-only learning, while 40% of Republicans favored in-person classes.

Despite major changes in the way students are learning, 61% of respondents said they’re satisfied with the quality of education while 31% said they are dissatisfied.

In terms of the overall pandemic, 64% of respondents said they were worried about becoming seriously ill from COVID-19, while 36% said they were not worried.


Democrats were more likely to say they were worried, with 40.2% saying they were “very worried” and 42.3% saying they were “somewhat worried” about the virus. Republicans, meanwhile, were more likely to say they were not worried, with 30% saying they were “not too worried and 34.5% saying they were “not at all worried.” Just 8.5% said they were “very worried.”

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Black respondents were more than twice as likely as white respondents to say they were “very worried” about catching COVID-19, with 42.5% of Black respondents and 20.4% of white respondents falling into that category. Those who identified as another race or refused to provide their race came in at 33.9% in the “very worried” category.

When asked how comfortable they felt returning to their normal routine, 57% said they do not feel comfortable while 41% said they do feel comfortable.


The poll found a more than 50-point split in comfort level between Republicans and Democrats, with 75% of the former and 20% of the latter saying they would feel comfortable returning to their normal routines. More unaffiliated voters — 54% to 44% — are not comfortable returning to normal.

The poll of 820 likely voters, which was conducted between October 19 and October 24, has a 3.5% margin of error.

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For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

CBS Baltimore Staff