Even when coronavirus restrictions are lifted, roughly seven out of 10 people in the tri-state area would be uncomfortable going to restaurants or bars and more than eight out of 10 wouldn't be comfortable going to a large sports or entertainment event.
The results from a new Quinnipiac University poll in Connecticut, New York and New Jersey also found that people are split about returning to work outside the home.
Majorities also say it will take at least a few months before their states are safe to lift their stay at home orders and reopen their economies.
The Quinnipiac University polls were conducted simultaneously in all three states, and included more than 2,800 registered voters.
Support for the governors
The majorities of voters in all three states are overwhelmingly supportive of their governors' responses and their states' restrictions.
Gov. Ned Lamont gets a 65-26 percent job approval rating, and a 78-17 percent approval rating for his handling of the coronavirus.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo received a 72-24 percent job approval rating, and an 81-17 percent approval rating for his handling of the response to the coronavirus.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy gets a 68-23 percent job approval rating, and a 78-18 percent approval rating for his handling of the coronavirus.
“A crisis rockets governors to approval ratings rarely seen. In the tri-state area, the public leans on their leaders and the gratitude shows," Quinnipiac University polling analyst Tim Malloy said in a release announcing the polls’ results.”
Roughly two-thirds in each of these states also say the restrictions put in place in their state to slow the spread of the coronavirus are about right, while only about 20 percent in each state think they don't go far enough and about 15 percent think they go too far.
Majorities in all three states don't think their states should reopen any time soon. Timeframes for when voters in each of these states think it will be safe to begin to lift their state's stay at home order and reopen the economy are below.
In the next few months or longer:
Connecticut: 59 percent; New York: 58 percent; New Jersey: 55 percent.
Immediately, or in the next few weeks:
Connecticut: 38 percent; New York: 38 percent; New Jersey: 39 percent.
When to reopen
The polls found a clear consensus that the state should be prioritizing slowing the spread of the coronavirus by keeping people home, even if it hurts the economy, say 71 percent of those polled, while only about a quarter in each state think reopening the economy should be the top priority.
A majority in Connecticut — 76-19 percent — also think that there should be more testing in order to begin to lift stay at home orders.
“Cautious, but not cowering. Having experienced a nightmare, the 32 million people who make up the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut area are willing to hang tough and wait out the virus for another few months," Malloy said.
Most know someone with coronavirus
The polls found a majority of people in each state know someone who has been diagnosed with the coronavirus, and worry about infection is pervasive.
In Connecticut, 61 percent know someone who has been diagnosed, 33 percent know someone who has been hospitalized, and 22 percent know someone who has died. Sixty-five percent are very or somewhat worried that they will be infected and get seriously ill, while 78 percent are very or somewhat worried that someone in their family will be infected and get seriously ill.
“The outbreak is personal for people living in the tri-state region. Not only do a majority of them know someone who tested positive for the coronavirus, close to four in 10 people in the hardest-hit states of New York and New Jersey know someone who died after being infected,” said Quinnipiac University polling analyst Mary Snow.
Roughly half of each state say that the coronavirus crisis has caused them financial hardship (New York, 48 percent; New Jersey, 51 percent; Connecticut, 46 percent), while about one-third say they have lost their job or a substantial portion of their household income.
Close to 4 in 10 say that they are very or somewhat concerned about their household being able to pay their bills in the next month (New York 41 percent; New Jersey, 39 percent; Connecticut, 35 percent), and about 3 in 10 in each state are very or somewhat concerned about having enough food to eat (New York, 31 percent; New Jersey, 25 percent; Connecticut, 26 percent).
“In states known for their high costs of living, the financial impact of the coronavirus is taking a toll with real concerns about making ends meet and feeding families. Roughly one-quarter of people have concerns about being able to pay their rent or mortgage bills in the next month," Snow said.
CT residents more pessimistic
New Jersey is the most optimistic that their state will be back to normal a year from now, 53-40 percent. New Yorkers are split 47-47.
Connecticut is a little more pessimistic as 46 percent say yes and 51 percent say no.
In all three states, former Vice President Joe Biden has a huge lead over President Donald Trump.
In New York, Biden leads 55-32 percent; in New Jersey, Biden leads 54-35 percent; and in Connecticut, Biden leads 56-33 percent.
“Fueled by big leads among women, non-whites, and whites with a college degree, it's looking like a Biden blue state blowout across all three states," said associate vice president and director Doug Schwartz.
In Connecticut, President Trump gets a 36-59 percent job-approval rating, and a 37-61 percent approval rating for his handling of the coronavirus.