A 'Vote Here' sign outside an election polling place at Woodbury City Hall in Woodbury, Minnesota, during the 2020 general election, on November 3, 2020. [Tony Webster from Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons]

A Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association poll found that community violence and crime is the top public health concern for Virginia voters.

“In the public opinion survey from Mason-Dixon Polling and Strategy, 51 percent of respondents cited community violence and crime as the top public health concern for their families. Health care workforce shortages, which have been intensified as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, was the second most commonly cited public health concern with 25 percent of those polled listing it as their primary concern,” a VHHA release states.

Virginia State Police report released in June found that overall crime in Virginia was down in 2021, but that violent crime was up compared to 2020 while still less than in 2019.

Mason-Dixon Polling conducted the VHHA poll among 800 registered voters from June 23-30.

90 percent of respondents said they had been vaccinated, in line with Virginia Department of Health data showing 92.6 percent of adults have had at least one dose.

39 percent said they still wear masks in crowded indoor spaces, while 38 said they don’t take any precautions. 15 percent said they avoid large crowds, while eight percent said they wear masks on airplanes. 69 percent said they’re understanding of mask requirements in hospitals.

Although some people delayed medical care earlier in the COVID-19 pandemic, 93 percent of respondents said they feel safe going to doctor’s offices and hospitals.

“Three-fourths of Virginians (75 percent) view Virginia hospitals favorably, and more than four in five people (83 percent) who have had a personal or family encounter with hospital care in the past year said their experience was positive,” the VHHA reported.

Insurance companies didn’t fare as well in the poll.

29 percent of Virginians said health insurance costs are driving health care costs; 26 percent cited pharmaceutical companies, and 15 percent cited inflation.

“Virginians are generally split in their view of health insurance companies with 48 percent expressing a negative view of health insurance companies compared to 44 percent who view them favorably,” the VHHA reported.

This article originally appeared in The Virginia Star. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the positions of The Republican Standard. Republished with permission.