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New coronavirus poll shows most Utahns comfortable again in malls, but not schools and movie theatres

This photo provided by Scott Zaremba shows the Plaza Cinema in Ottawa, Kan. (Scott Zaremba via AP)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — A new coronavirus poll shows many Utahns are still uncomfortable with public events, as pandemic restrictions continue to ease across the state.

Public hesitation revealed in new coronavirus poll 

According to the latest Deseret News/Hinckley Institute of Politics Poll, more than half of all Utahns feel comfortable about returning to schools, movie theatres and sporting events.

In fact, cheering on your favorite team in-person returned the lowest percentage. Only 43% of Utahns say they would feel OK about returning to a stadium atmosphere.

According to the poll, people feel a little better about buying a movie ticket, but still only 47% would feel comfortable in a movie theatre. While the prospect of returning to school and attending class in-person proved to be a polarizing proposition. Just under half, 49%, report being on board with the idea.

On the other side of the spectrum, Utahns seem to be just fine with returning to malls and their favorite stores. A fairly significant majority, 67%, say they have no problem returning to their old shopping habits. Additonally, 62% say they feel fine dining-in at restaurants again.

Residents speak their mind

The Deseret News spoke to some local residents who explained what’s causing their hesitations. Many said the viral threat of transmitting germs is keeping them on edge. 

American Fork resident Jaxon Peterson says he thinks about that when it comes to attending church.

“Singing just seems like the perfect way to spread disease,” he explains. “That goes to sporting events, too. Cheering, applauding, booing, everything like that, the perfect ground for that. Even at an outdoor venue.” 

Holly Hammons of West Valley City is hoping some areas stay in the current “yellow” phase for awhile.

“I don’t think we should be going to green anytime soon,” she explains. “To me, green means it’s gone.”

Pollster Scott Rasmussen surveyed 1,000 Utah registered voters from May 25-31. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.