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Poll suggests New Yorkers feel comfortable at beach, traveling

Published: Jul. 13, 2021 at 4:48 PM EDT
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TOWN OF HENDERSON, New York (WWNY) - Taking vacations and hitting the beach - a Siena Poll suggests that New Yorkers are doing both this summer. After a year and a half of COVID, people are ready to enjoy the summer.

Whether it’s playing in the water or on the sand, New Yorkers are soaking up the sun.

Siena College released a poll Tuesday morning saying that 78% of New Yorkers feel at least somewhat comfortable traveling within the United States.

Eighty percent say they feel okay going to the beach. One couple at Westcott Beach State Park did both, making the trip up from Florida.

“We’ve gotten our vaccination and we’re just comfortable being around people,” said Julie Walrath.

“Right now, everything seems like it’s, you know, set up to be safe for everybody; the hotels and restaurants and things, so we don’t see any issues,” said Steve Walrath.

He added that people on the beach are spread out, limiting contact.

“Other beaches that are pretty crowded, which might concern people, but this one’s really safe,” he said.

It’s not quite the beach, but kids were having fun in the sun at Thompson Park. One grandparent says he has no issue coming to the splash pad.

“I’ve had both my shots. Mostly, these are all kids. So, I feel pretty safe out,” said Richard Lashway.

One dad says he always felt comfortable going out, even at the height of the pandemic.

“Even with it all, I’d rather live life to the fullest and not be scared,” said Nathan Lucas.

It seems as if most New Yorkers are ready to move on from COVID-19. The Siena Poll says 68% feel the worst of the pandemic is over - a complete 180 from last year.

“When we asked that question at the end of last summer, that number was only 34%. So we’ve moved from a third to well over two-thirds,” said Dr. Don Levy, director of Siena College Research Institute.

Dr. Levy points out that despte that optimism, half of New Yorkers think we could see a resurgence of COVID-19 infections in the state.

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