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Angelenos Overwhelmingly Support Strict Stay Home Orders, Even As 58% Report Losing Income

The intersections of the 5, 10, 60, and 101 freeways near downtown Los Angeles during what is usually rush hour. (Chava Sanchez/LAist)
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New research from Loyola Marymount University's Center for the Study of Los Angeles finds widespread economic hardship -- with immigrants appearing to suffer more than other groups -- even as the vast majority of L.A. County residents believe strong measures are needed to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

So far Angelenos have been told to stay home, to stop going to work or school, to wear masks in public, and to keep their distance even from the people they love. But many seem ready and willing to endure even more restrictions if it means stopping the spread of the coronavirus.

The current stay-at-home order has almost universal support (95%) among L.A. County residents. Nearly a third actually say the local government has not done enough.

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When you look at individual measures such as shutting public transit or closing all airports, support for new restrictions looks even more robust.

Yes, this is the same study L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti referenced several times in his nightly updates earlier this week. The full study was made public this morning.

Researchers polled 2,000 Angelenos in English and Spanish both online and by phone between March 23 and April 8. The survey included 30 broad-ranging questions to get a sense of the public's awareness of and concerns about the coronavirus, and of the economic impact of the measures taken so far.


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Here's a breakdown of the public's support for major actions that could be taken to limit the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus:

  • 69% support closing public transit
  • 86% support closing schools the rest of the year
  • 79% support restricting travel within California
  • 78% support closing all airports
  • 86% support the government takeover of hotels and motels to quarantine people who might get sick and isolate patients who are

At the same time, these restrictions have a very real impact on the economy. Here's a look -- from the same study -- at the economic picture so far during the pandemic:

  • 48% of L.A. County residents say they've been let go or had their hours reduced
  • 61% say they're able to work from home
  • 58% say their income has been somewhat or significantly reduced
  • 59% say they're worried about being able to buy food

The impact is not shared evenly across the economy, though. Immigrants, along with younger or lower-income workers, appear to be getting hit harder. Look at who said their income has been reduced, for instance, and a clearer picture emerges:

  • Responded in English: 56.5%
  • Responded in Spanish: 75.4%
  • Full-time workers: 56.4%
  • Part-time workers: 78.5%
  • Can work from home: 55.9%
  • Can't work from home: 71.1%
  • Aged 45-64: 55.3%
  • Aged 30-44: 68.3%
  • Aged 18-29: 64.8%
  • Income is $100K-$150K: 52.7%
  • Income is under $40K: 65%
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Another interesting finding: Angelenos have more faith in local officials than in the president when it comes to handling the pandemic. Here are some approval ratings (meaning the public has a fair amount to a great deal of confidence in the person or agency):

  • L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti: 85%
  • Gov. Gavin Newsom: 84%
  • Local health department: 86%
  • President Donald Trump: 38%

You can read a full summary of the findings below: