Nearly three-quarters of Coloradans are very concerned about the novel coronavirus and taking recommended precautions such as social distancing and hand-washing — even as younger people continue to be less troubled by the global outbreak.
These attitudes are illuminated in a state health department survey released Saturday, which polled nearly 45,000 Coloradans on a variety of COVID-19-related questions.
The survey — conducted between Sunday and Tuesday, before Gov. Jared Polis ordered residents statewide to stay at home — showed 72% of respondents were “very concerned” about COVID-19 in Colorado. Among 18- to 29-year-olds, however, that number dropped to 59%.
That lack of concern among some did not come from a belief that they wouldn’t get sick, the survey showed. Nearly 90% of respondents said they think it’s somewhat or very likely that they would get sick from the novel coronavirus.
Nearly everybody surveyed said they were washing their hands more frequently (98%) and avoiding large gatherings (97%).
More than one-third of those surveyed said they are stockpiling food, and exactly half the respondents said they’ve had a combination of symptoms indicative of generalized anxiety over the last two weeks.
“This survey shows what we already knew, that Coloradans are strong, and we are all in this together,” Jill Hunsaker Ryan, executive director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, said in a news release. “We’re relieved to see that so many people are doing their part to slow the spread of this deadly virus. If we keep this up, we will protect our health care system from being overloaded with critical cases and countless lives will be saved.”
Some of the other highlights from the survey include:
- 75% of respondents would try to get tested if they were exposed or had symptoms
- 40% of part-time, full-time or self-employed respondents said they don’t have access to paid leave if they were not able to work because of virus.
- 11% of respondents have had their hours reduced, 9% have temporarily lost their jobs and 1% have permanently lost their jobs due to COVID-19.
The survey was taken by going to the CDPHE website, which, state health officials acknowledged, could have been a more likely sample to be concerned about the new coronavirus. The link was shared widely after the survey’s release, officials said, “so that bias may have been reduced.”
Health officials also noted that Hispanic and Black or African American participants were underrepresented in the survey.
The full survey results can be found here.
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