Poll Shows Majority Of New Yorkers Support Vaccine Requirements, Indoor Masks For Teachers And School Staff

Kendall Tietz 

A majority of New Yorkers support COVID-19 vaccine requirements and indoor mask mandates for teachers and school staff, according to a poll from Siena College released Tuesday.

The survey shows 69% of registered voters think it should be a requirement for public school teachers and other school employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine, according to the poll. Just 26% of respondents thought vaccination shouldn’t be a requirement.

“Three different vaccine mandates – employees generally, school employees specifically and customers of certain businesses – each has the support of at least 65 percent of voters,” said Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg. “Each has support from more than three-quarters of Democrats and a majority of independents.”

The requirement that public school teachers, staff and students wear masks indoors was favored by 78% of those polled, while 18% were opposed, according to the poll.

The survey shows mask mandates have strong support among New Yorkers.

“A mask mandate for schools is supported by 89 percent of Democrats, 76 percent of independents and 57 percent of Republicans,” Greenberg said.

On Aug. 23, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a vaccine requirement for all public school teachers and staff. The mayor gave New York City’s 148,000 public school employees until Sept. 27 to get their first vaccine.

De Blasio previously warned of “very tough” consequences for public school staff and teachers who didn’t get the vaccine, but a resolution announced Friday by an independent arbitrator said “New York City teachers with certain documented medical conditions must be offered non-classroom assignments,” according to a statement from the United Federation of Teachers.

“Other staffers reluctant to take the vaccine must be offered either an unpaid leave that maintains their health coverage, or a severance package,” the statement said.

The Siena College survey polled 700 New York state registered voters from Sept. 7-12 with an overall margin of error of +/- 4.2 percentage points.

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