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Poll finds support for lifting COVID-19 restrictions

City Hall Photography by: Mark L. Dennis
In the latest Goucher Poll, the majority of Marylanders say they approve of how local leaders like Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski (left) and Baltimore City Mayor Brandon Scott (right) have handled the pandemic.

Most Maryland residents are ready to move on from COVID-related restrictions, according to a new Goucher Poll released Tuesday.

A plurality of respondents — 44% — said their local governments are moving at the right pace when it comes to rolling back COVID-related rules. Another quarter said the changes were moving too slowly.

The poll was taken the first week of March, just as mask mandates were lifting.

“A majority of Marylanders, I think, want to see some sort of return to normalcy and the lifting of these final restrictions,” said Mileah Kromer, who runs the poll as the director of the Sarah T. Hughes Center for Politics at Goucher College. “But still a full almost 30% of folks are a little bit hesitant — say they think things are going a little bit too quickly.”

The portion of people who said they are worried about getting COVID-19 or about their family members getting COVID-19 declined to 53%, from 59% in October and 71% a year ago.

Overall, the vast majority of those polled said they approve of how their state and local leaders have handled the COVID-19 pandemic. The highest marks went to local health departments, with 71% approval ratings, followed closely by Gov. Larry Hogan at 70% and the state Department of Health at 68%.

Rachel Baye is a senior reporter and editor in WYPR's newsroom.