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.
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.
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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.”
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.
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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.