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

Brittany Jordan

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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.

A security guard gives directions to enter the Northwell Health pop-up coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination site at the Albanian Islamic Cultural Center in Staten Island on April 08, 2021 in New York City. NYC continues to have a 6.55 percent coronavirus (COVID-19) cases on a seven-day rolling average as the city continues to ramp up vaccinations. The city last week set a record of 524,520 coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccinations. (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

“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. (RELATED: De Blasio’s Vaccine Passports Will Hit Minority, Poor Communities The Hardest)

“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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Brittany Jordan is an award-winning journalist who reports on breaking news in the U.S. and globally for the Federal Inquirer. Prior to her position at the Federal Inquirer, she was a general assignment features reporter for Newsweek, where she wrote about technology, politics, government news and important global events around the world. Her work has also appeared in the Washington Post, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Toronto Star, Frederick News-Post, West Hawaii Today, the Miami Herald, and more. Brittany enjoys food, travel, photography, and hoarding notebooks and journals. Her goal is to do more longform features journalism, narrative writing and documentary work, and to one day write a successful novel and screenplay.

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