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Capital Region workers want masks and more to feel safe at work

May 10, 2020 5:30 am
Steve Hughes is reporting for the Times Union a new Times Union-Siena College Research Institute poll has found the majority of residents of the Capital Region say they will need increased safety measures against the novel coronavirus before they feel safe at work again. Respondents said they want employers to provide masks, sanitized workplaces and personal protective equipment at work, but they also expect larger public health measures that are not yet available, such as widespread diagnostic and antibody testing as well as a treatment for COVID-19 or a vaccine. Of the 1,007 people surveyed who are still working outside the home, 52 percent said they trust employers to take the necessary steps to protect employees and clients, to keep them safe. However, Donald P. Levy, director of the Siena College Research Institute, said their answers on what safe is, seem to indicate it may be difficult goal to reach. "It seems to me that the concept of safe is a very, very high bar," Levy said. According to the poll, 74 percent said they would want there to be a treatment for COVID-19 going forward in order to feel safe at their workplace, and 53 percent said they want a vaccine. Scientists and public health officials have said the earliest a vaccine would be developed is at least a year away and it could be longer than that before a vaccine is widely available to the general public. The poll was conducted among residents of the 11 counties that made up the Capital Region between April 27 and May 1. Read the full story in the Times Union.