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Emergency operations center shares results from community survey

  • Category: Health & Wellness, Community
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: Jason Mower, Chief PIO for Sweetwater County Emergency Operations Center for COVID-19
Emergency operations center shares results from community survey

The Sweetwater County COVID-19 Emergency Operations Center today announced the results from its recent community survey.

Made possible with assistance from University of Wyoming's Wyoming Survey and Analysis Center, the "Sweetwater Speaks - A COVID-19 Community Survey" was conducted over the course of a week beginning on Thursday, April 23, and ending at midnight last night. The survey was designed to gauge public opinion on a number of topics related to the impacts of COVID-19 in Sweetwater County.

While not a truly scientific survey as participation was voluntary, no demographic information was collected and it does not necessarily comprise a random nor representative sample of county residents, 6,133 people participated in the survey and the EOC intends to use the results to inform them on addressing the specific needs of our community as we move towards softening restrictions and reopening our local economy.

While 46% of respondents reported that they perceive COVID-19 as a real threat and 31% believe the worst is likely yet to come, 40% of those surveyed believe it has been blown out of proportion and 28% believe it’s not likely to be a major problem here in Sweetwater County. Nonetheless, 66% of all participants expressed anxiety over the uncertainty this situation has created.

Almost 87% of those surveyed are either very or somewhat concerned about the impact of COVID-19 on our local economy and 73% are either very or somewhat concerned about their personal finances due to the pandemic.

Although 55% of county residents say they or members of their immediate families haven’t been laid off or lost their jobs, 64% say they or members of their immediate families have seen their work hours or pay cut during the shutdown.

Here are some of the additional key findings from the survey:

• 53% say they are either somewhat or very worried that they or someone in their immediate family might catch COVID-19; 47% say they are either not too worried or not worried at all that they or someone in their immediately family might catch COVID-19.

• 65.1% say they either somewhat or strongly approve of the emergency response by local government and health officials, and 68.5% report they trust either a good amount or a great deal of information they hear about COVID-19 from local government and health officials.

• 54.1% say they are confident in our local healthcare system’s ability to handle the COVID-19 response.

• Only 30.9% say they support “sheltering in place,” while 50.5% oppose a “shelter-in-place” order as a policy to limit the spread of COVID-19 in Sweetwater County.

• While 48.8% say they support closing restaurants and bars, 35.1% oppose closing restaurants and bars as a policy to limit the spread of COVID-19 in Sweetwater County.

• 68.5% say they support closing K-12 schools as a policy to limit the spread of COVID-19 in Sweetwater County.

• 63.1% say they support limiting the size of public gatherings as a policy to limit the spread of COVID-19 in Sweetwater County.

• 68.3% say they will continue to wash their hands more frequently, 50.6% plan to continue to avoid physical contact with others and 44.4% will continue to avoid public gatherings even after COVID-19 restrictions are softened or lifted.

• 47% say they will continue to spend more time at home and 45% say they will continue to eat out less after COVID-19 restrictions are softened or lifted.

• Only 34.5% say they will continue to wear personal protective equipment such as a mask or face covering after COVID-19 restrictions are softened or lifted.

• 20% say they will not change their daily routines at all after COVID-19 restrictions are softened or lifted.

• 77.1% say they have experienced difficulty purchasing nonfood household items such as toilet paper, hand wash and disinfectants in the past two weeks.

• 54.1% say they have experienced difficulty purchasing groceries or other food in the past two weeks; 45.9% say they have not experienced any difficulty purchasing groceries or other food in the past two weeks.

For more information on the Sweetwater County Emergency Operations Center for COVID-19 at sweetwater311.org.