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Survey finds majority of Vermonters wearing masks

Gov. Phil Scott weighing mask mandate
Published: Jul. 22, 2020 at 12:52 AM EDT|Updated: Jul. 22, 2020 at 11:35 AM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - A new survey conducted by the Vermont Department of Health finds the majority of Vermonters always or often wear masks.

Around Burlington, many people we spoke to say they support wearing masks.

“Every time I go inside an establishment, I wear a mask,” said David Hunter, 28. “And if I’m going to be around a lot of people outside I will. But if I’m going to just take a walk, I don’t necessarily always wear it.”

The main reasons survey respondents gave for wearing a mask are respect for others, public health benefit and safety for self and others.

“My mother’s got heart disease, so I just try to be careful. So, it may not be me who it affects, it could be my family members, as well,” said Brent Lombard of Burlington.

“It’s not only to protect yourself but mostly to protect others, the elderly, it’s just disrespectful to do that to others,” said Kyle Wolter.

The survey found mask wearing common practice especially in age groups 25-34, 55-64 and 65 and older. It was least common among ages 18-24 and 45-54. The top reasons for not people not wearing a mask are they don’t need one, it’s uncomfortable or there are no new cases.

“I’ll call it immaturity-- that’s what it is. I hope nothing bad happens to any of them, but I hope they can wake up and see that this is not a joke,” said Samuel Boyer of Burlington.

Alarmed by the growth of COVID-19 cases across the country, Gov. Phil Scott Tuesday said he continues to weigh the possibility of a mask mandate and might have more to say about it on Friday.

So how did Vermonters feel about a possible statewide mask mandate? Reactions were mixed.

“If we’re at a function -- yes. If we’re inside someone’s house and we’re not all knowing who each other is -- yes. But outside like this -- no,” said Lyanne Turner.

“Yes, I do 100%, it should’ve been done a long time ago by everybody,” Aiden said.

The survey also found that women are more likely to wear a mask than men in age groups 18-24, 25-34, 45-54, and 55-64, but men are more likely to wear on in the other age groups, including 65 and older.

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