State Rep. Harry Arora – Survey Results: Should Masks and Vaccines be mandated in our schools?

Posted on July 19, 2021

Thank you for taking the survey and providing your input on masks and vaccination policy. The high response rate gives us an accurate understanding about our community’s standing on these issues. Here are the key takeaways:

Viewpoints of our community:
Nearly two thirds of the residents in our community would like to keep the masks and vaccinations optional in our schools for all students. About one third of our residents would like to continue the mask mandate for those under 12 and also introduce a vaccine mandate for those eligible. For students over 12, there is strong consensus (85%) about not having a mask mandate. You can see the survey results by clicking HERE. The survey has a 2% margin of error and a 99% confidence interval.

Concerns about new COVID variants (Delta variant):
Comments from our community show a high level of concern regarding the new delta variant. Moreover, data from other states (Florida, Texas, Georgia etc.) establish that it is not good policy to ignore the risk from the new variants. In all of these states, infections and hospitalizations have increased materially in the last two weeks and deaths have started to climb. HERE is a link to the recent data for these states from Data also shows that 99.5% of all deaths and 97% of all hospitalizations are amongst those who are unvaccinated. While Connecticut’s vaccination rate at 68% is materially higher than these other states, we cannot take our eye off the variant risk.

Policy implications:
The survey and the emerging delta variant threat has clear policy implications for our state government.
1. Our community does not support a vaccination mandate for students and would like the masks to be optional as soon as practical.
2. There are serious health concerns emerging from the new variants. It is important to continue to provide easy access to the vaccine. Further, all data related to vaccine efficacy and the delta variant should be made available in a timely fashion to our constituents so they can make informed decisions.

This conversation needs to continue. I plan to share this survey with the administration and the health committee of the legislature. Please do email me any questions or concerns. It is important that we get our students back to normal in person school this Fall, while making sure we keep them safe.