Just Over 3 Percent of Low-Income Californians Want to Open Up the State and Stop Sheltering In Place, New Poll Says

Although California's unemployment has been on the rise since Governor Gavin Newsom's stay-at-home orders, a new poll released Friday by the California Health Care Foundation and research firm Ipsos showed less than 4 percent of Californians with low incomes are ready to stop sheltering in place.

Only 3.6 percent of Californians whose income places them below the federal poverty guidelines are ready for the stay-at-home orders to be relaxed. However, 78.7 percent of individuals in that particular income bracket believe they should shelter in place for as long as necessary.

When the same question was posed to a sampling of all California residents, 75.1 percent said they were in favor of shelter in place orders while 10.9 percent of those polled said the orders needed to be relaxed in order to stimulate the economy.

Newsom has yet to announce when stay at home orders will be relaxed. "We have tried to make it crystal clear that there is no light switch and there is no date," Newsom said in a Wednesday briefing.

Newsom also said that approximately 3.2 million Californians had filed for unemployment benefits through the Employment Development Department (EDD).

"Just last week," Newsom told reporters, "$2 billion in unemployment insurance claims were dispersed, just in one week."

Newsweek reached out to the EDD for comment.

gavin newsom
According to a poll released Friday, just over 3 percent of Californians classified as low-income are ready for Governor Gavin Newsom to relax the state's stay-at-home orders and begin working to build up California's economy. Agustin Paullier/AFP/Getty

Health insurance did not appear to be a worrisome factor for Californians surveyed. While 4.5 percent of low-income Californians reported being without health insurance, 43.3 percent claimed they were not worried at all about losing their coverage. Out of all Californians surveyed, 2.7 percent said they had no health insurance. However, 51.7 percent of those polled said they were not at all worried about losing their coverage.

By law, Californians must either carry health insurance, pay a penalty for not having coverage when filing state taxes or receive an exemption. While the enrollment period for health insurance in the state was originally slated to end in January, that period has been extended to June 30.

Being able to afford treatment for coronavirus may be a different story; 17.4 percent of Californians with low incomes report being very worried about how they will pay for Covid-19 treatment, with 27.6 percent claiming to be somewhat worried about it.

Those numbers drop when all Californians are factored in with only 9.2 percent saying they are very worried about affording the treatment, with 22 percent calling themselves somewhat worried.

California residents who are insured are eligible for free testing for Covid-19. However, according to an April study by America's Health Insurance Plans, the average cost for coronavirus treatment is $30,000.

Recent data from the California Department of Public Health indicates a total of 39,254 positive cases of coronavirus in the state with 1,562 fatalities attributed to the virus.