Poll shows support for vax mandates, mask requirements

BOSTON — A significant majority of registered voters in Boston support employers mandating COVID-19 vaccines among their workforces and the Baker administration’s new mask requirement in K-12 schools, according to a new survey.

About 87 percent of Boston voters likely to cast ballots in the Sept. 14 preliminary election agree with Education Commissioner Jeff Riley’s policy requiring anyone over the age of 5 to wear a mask in K-12 public schools, regardless of vaccination status, through at least the start of October, a Boston Globe/Suffolk University poll published Tuesday found.

With schools across the state preparing to embark on their third straight academic year impacted by the pandemic, less than 9 percent of Boston voters surveyed disagreed with the school mask mandate. Another 3.6 percent were undecided.

The poll of 500 likely voters in Boston, conducted from Sept. 2 to Sept. 4 with a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points, also found substantial support for vaccine mandates on workers.

About 71 percent of those polled “believe employers should require that their employees get vaccinated” compared to nearly 19 percent who oppose the policy. Eighty-three percent voiced support for Mayor Kim Janey’s decision requiring city workers to provide proof of vaccination or submit to weekly testing, and 13 percent opposed her order.

Gov. Charlie Baker, Attorney General Maura Healey, and other constitutional officers have rolled out varying degrees of vaccine mandates on their public-sector employees in recent weeks, as have many private employers, while the Delta variant fuels an increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

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