Hawaii residents, many of whom have taken financial hits since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, remain fearful of contracting the virus and mostly support a slow reopening of the state to out-of-state visitors, a new Bank of Hawaii-commissioned survey showed.

Bank of Hawaii Foundation enlisted Anthology Research, a local marketing and research firm, to conduct an online and telephone survey that received more than 1,000 completed responses. The results showed that 45% of residents have seen their income decline since the start of the pandemic.

“The negative economic impact of COVID-19 on Hawaii’s families is undeniable,” the report said.

The state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations said in June that there were more than 254,000 claims on the mainframe, including more than 62,000 left to process.

To cope with income loss, 41% of people who responded to the survey said they have cut back on expenses, while 27% have dipped into their savings, the survey results showed.

As a result of the financial hardships, 15% of residents reported having problems paying their rent or mortgage, while 13% reported having received help from a food bank or a food distribution drive, the report said.

The survey also showed that 81% of the residents worried about contracting the virus, although fewer than one in five residents surveyed knew someone who tested positive for the virus.

A majority — 67% — of residents prefer reopening the state more slowly over the course of the year rather than immediately, the report also said. Only 5% said visitors should be allowed back immediately.

Read the full report here.

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