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As a new strain of coronavirus (COVID-19) swept through the world in 2020, preparedness plans, masking policies and more public policy changed just as quickly. WVXU has covered the pandemic's impact on the Tri-State from the very beginning, when on March 3, 2020, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine barred spectators from attending the Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus over concerns about the virus, even though Ohio had yet to confirm a single case of COVID-19.

Poll Shows Ohioans Trust DeWine, Have Higher Confidence Returning To Life After COVID-19

mike dewine
Tony Dejak

A new poll finds Ohioans are not "intensely" worried about catching COVID-19 and once the stay-at-home order is lifted will be more likely than the rest of the nation to resume social gatherings. But they still want social distancing and processes in place to identify new coronavirus cases.

The April 10-13 national poll sponsored by CincyTech, The Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber, Miami University and ACUPOLL, had an Ohio subset (pages 21-28) on what it would take to get ready to return to life after the COVID-19 outbreak.

Only 32% of Ohioans are "intensely" worried about catching it. That's 14 points below the national average. However, 54% of Ohioans are still somewhat worried.

The poll finds Ohio's governor is the second most trusted source for COVID-19 information. Ohioans believe Gov. Mike DeWine almost three times the rate of residents of other states trust their governors. Residents of the state are also confident in state and local government guidance.

Once reopened, 54% of Ohioans want social distancing and sanitization and processes to identify new COVID-19 cases to drive confidence in their return to previous activities. Only 30% place importance on screening employees or patrons.

There are some key differences when it comes to returning to social activities when compared to the nation. Ohioans have a higher confidence, 65% vs 54%, as long as new processes are in place to identify COVID-19 cases.

In addition, Ohioans say they will participate less in restaurant dining, 29% vs 19% nationally, but with social distancing and new processes in place, they may be more likely to eat out eventually.

This is one of several surveys CincyTech has done on COVID-19. Here is the last one. Another one is due out soon.

Ann Thompson has years of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market and brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting. She has reported for WKRC, WCKY, WHIO-TV, Metro Networks and CBS/ABC Radio. Her work has been recognized by the Associated Press and the Society of Professional Journalists. In 2019 and 2011 A-P named her “Best Reporter” for large market radio in Ohio. She has won awards from the Association of Women in Communications and the Alliance for Women in Media. Ann reports regularly on science and technology in Focus on Technology