Mask Survey art

Earlier this month, Source Media Properties asked its readers in Richland, Ashland, Knox and Crawford counties to respond to an anonymous survey seeking their opinions about masks amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a little over a week, there were 6,029 responses from the four counties, with 1,690 comments.

The key results are available in an online dashboard. They are also broken down group by group below. 

At the time of publishing these results (July 30), a statewide mask mandate is currently in effect, set forth by Gov. Mike DeWine on July 22. 

The basic demographics

About 50 percent of the responses came from Richland County, while the other half of respondents were split between Knox, Ashland and Crawford counties. Those who responded were overwhelmingly over the age of 25, and 67 percent were females.

Results were looked at in three basic groups. The overall region, by county, and by age groups. When looking at age, the data was broken down into three groups. Age 24 and under, age 25-44, and age 45 and older.

Will you wear a mask in public?

All counties MASK graph

Across the region, according to the survey, there is broad self-reported acceptance of mask-wearing to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The results show 51 percent said they would wear a mask regardless of the governor's orders and 31 percent will wear a mask if mandated. Hence 82 percent of respondents either endorse or tolerate mask-wearing to prevent COVID-19.

On the other end, 15 percent said they would refuse to wear a mask under any circumstance, and less than 2 percent said a medical condition would prevent them from wearing a mask.

Support for masks varies widely by age group

Survey participants delivered a wide difference of opinion on wearing a mask in public when broken down by age groups. The older the respondent was, the more likely they were to be in favor of voluntary masking. 

The results were stark. Respondents older than 45 were 41 percent more likely to favor voluntary masking than those under 24. 

The gap between younger adults and those between 25-44 was not as wide, but still noticeable. The older group was 17 percent more likely to favor masking than their younger counterparts.

After this story published, an interesting question on Facebook came in from a user about anonymity. He asked if the option at the end of the survey for users to leave an email address would be, "potentially self-incriminating to those who choose to be non-compliant to what is now a mandate?" 

To deliver an answer, email / no email respondents were separated into groups and analyzed. As it turned out, those who provided emails (and were thus less anonymous) were 13% more likely to favor mask usage than the broader sample. 

County by county sentiment

Geographically, results were similar across the four counties. Ashland and Knox County residents were marginally more favorable toward voluntary masking than Richland and Crawford residents. One place where the data differed was Crawford County. Residents there showed a stronger sentiment against masking than the other three counties. It's important to note that Crawford County also had the smallest sample size. That may indicate a less reliable data set to gauge the tenor of the community.

We asked "What are your thoughts on masks and facial coverings as of right now? (Select all answers that apply to you or you feel to be true.)"

Overall, here's the results we found across the four counties from those who responded to the survey. Green boxes indicate favorable responses. Red boxes indicate opposition.:

REGIONAL RESULTS

All respondents

-- 2,436 respondents (40.42%) said "It's crucial that everyone who is able wears a mask in public."

-- 2,386 respondents (39.60%) said "Wearing a mask in public is the best way to slow the spread of COVID-19."

-- 1,328 respondents (22.04%) said "Mask, no mask. Doesn't matter. COVID-19 is no more of a threat to public health than anything else.

-- 927 respondents (15.38%) said "I won't shop in a store that requires me to wear a mask."

-- 825 respondents (13.69%) said "I believe wearing a mask is necessary in places like nursing homes and hospitals, but not retail establishments."

-- 685 respondents (11.37%) said "Wearing a mask is nonsense. I've never worn one and don't intend to."

-- 678 respondents (11.25%) said "Masks are important, but they are not the most important factor in slowing the spread of COVID-19 as of now."

RICHLAND COUNTY

Richland MASK graph

-- 1,227 respondents (40.38%) said "It's crucial that everyone who is able wears a mask in public."

-- 1,173 respondents (38.60%) said "Wearing a mask in public is the best way to slow the spread of COVID-19."

-- 706 respondents (23.23%) said "Mask, no mask, doesn't matter. COVID-19 is no more of a threat to public health than anything else."

-- 442 respondents (14.54%) said "I won't shop in a store that requires me to wear a mask."

-- 418 respondents (13.75%) said "I believe wearing a mask is necessary in places like nursing homes and hospitals, but not retail establishments."

CRAWFORD COUNTY

Crawford MASK graph

-- 128 respondents (30.55%) said "Mask, no mask, doesn't matter. COVID-19 is no more of a threat to public health than anything else."

-- 116 respondents (27.68%) said "Wearing a mask in public is the best way to slow the spread of COVID-19." 

-- 113 respondents (26.97%) said "It's crucial that everyone who is able wears a mask in public."

-- 99 respondents (23.63%) said "I won't shop in a store that requires me to wear a mask."

-- 72 respondents (17.18%) said "I believe wearing a mask is necessary in places like nursing homes and hospitals, but not retail establishments."

ASHLAND COUNTY

Ashland MASK graph

-- 401 respondents (45.01%) said "It's crucial that everyone who is able wears a mask in public."

-- 397 respondents (44.56%) said "Wearing a mask in public is the best way to slow the spread of COVID-19."

-- 167 respondents (18.74%) said "Mask, no mask, doesn't matter. COVID-19 is no more of a threat to public health than anything else."

-- 122 respondents (13.69%) said "I won't shop in a store that requires me to wear a mask."

-- 114 respondents (12.79%) said "I believe wearing a mask is necessary in places like nursing homes and hospitals, but not retail establishments."

KNOX COUNTY

Knox MASK graph

-- 700 respondents (41.74%) said "Wearing a mask in public is the best way to slow the spread of COVID-19."

-- 695 respondents (41.44%) said "It's crucial that everyone who is able wears a mask in public."

-- 327 respondents (19.50%) said "Mask, no mask, doesn't matter. COVID-19 is no more of a threat to public health than anything else."

-- 264 respondents (15.74%) said "I won't shop in a store that requires me to wear a mask."

-- 221 respondents (13.18%) said "I believe wearing a mask is necessary in places like nursing homes and hospitals, but not retail establishments."

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I've lived in Richland Co. since 1990, married here, our children were born here. This is home. I have two books published on a passion topic, Ohio high school football. Others: Buckeyes, Cavs, Bengals, Reds, History, Disney.