Last week we asked you, our readers and the residents of Sweetwater County, for your opinions on the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic as it relates to your life and our communities.
Over 1,350 people responded.
At the time of publishing the survey, there were just over 150 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in Wyoming. As of time of publishing this story, four days after the poll went out, there are 210 confirmed positive cases across the state. Sweetwater County had three confirmed cases on Thursday, and now there are five cases.
Of the poll respondents, 68.3 percent of people said they believe COVID-19 is a real concern, while 17.6 percent were unsure, and 14 percent believe it is not a real concern and is being blown out of proportion.
Economic and Financial Concerns
According to the results of the poll, a major concern of COVID-19 appears to be the impact it could have on the economy. Out of 1,344 responses, 78.1 percent of people said they are “very concerned” about how the pandemic could impact the economy. Of those respondents, 18.5 percent of people said they are “somewhat concerned”, and 3.4 percent said they are “not concerned”.
While economic impact is a concern, the concern isn’t as severe for people’s own personal finances, according to the poll. Out of 1,347 responses, 81.8 percent of people said they are concerned about their personal finances, however, 43.9 percent of people said they are “very concerned” while 41.9 percent said they are “somewhat concerned”. Of those responses, 14.1 percent of people said they are not concerned.
Perhaps the concern is not as strong for personal finances as it is for the economy among those who were polled because out of 1,344 respondents, 66.4 percent of respondents said they or someone in their family has not been laid off due to the COVID-19 outbreak. This means 33.6 percent of respondents have experienced a loss of a job within their immediate family or themselves.
However, the majority of respondents or someone in their immediate family has seen a reduction in work or pay due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Of 1,337 people, 54.7 percent said they or someone in their immediate family have seen a reduction in work or pay, while 45.3 percent said they have not.
Recently, the U.S. Senate passed a $2 Trillion COVID-19 Relief Package, which will grant most adult individuals earning less than $75,000 one-time payments of $1,200, according to NPR. Families will receive $500 per dependent. The one-time payments decrease the more a person earns over $75,000 or as a couple earning over $198,000.
NPR also reported that individuals who have been laid off due to the outbreak may also receive $600 each week, on top of what they receive for unemployment. This payment will last for four months.
As related to our community poll, out of 1,347 poll respondents, 43.1 percent of people said this government relief package is not enough, while 36.9 percent of people said they are “unsure”. Of the respondents, 20 percent said this is enough.
Most Respondents Approve of Local and State Responses to COVID-19
When asked if they approve of Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak in Wyoming, the majority of people said they do approve. Out of 1,342 responses, 71 percent said they approved while 29 percent of people said they do not approve.
The majority of people polled said they are in support of the state-wide orders that have been issued by Governor Gordon that have placed closures on schools, and limitations on restaurant and bars, non-essential businesses, and public gatherings.
Out of 1,345 responses, 87.4 percent of people said they support the orders, while 12.6 percent said they do not.
In addition, out of 1,339 responses, 63 percent of people said they are in favor of a state-wide Shelter-In-Place order, while 37 percent do not.
On Friday, April 3, Governor Gordon defended his decision to not issue a Shelter-In-Place order and further pushed his message for Wyomingites to stay at home and practice to good hygiene practices and social distancing.
Just as the people polled approve of the state’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak, they also approved of the local response. Out of 1,343 responses, 76.8 percent of people said they do approve of the local elected and health officials’ response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Of those responses, 23.3 percent of people said they do not approve of the response.
In addition, out of 1,344 responses, 73.1 percent of people said they trust the information coming from local elected and health officials, while 26.9 percent said they do not.
Disruption to Everyday Routines
The majority of people polled reported some variation of disruption or change to their daily routines. Out of 1,346 responses, 90.6 percent of people said they have experience a disruption or change, while 9.4 percent of people said they have not.
Disruptions and changes to daily routines varied among respondents, however, the majority of people said the disruption has been in their socialization habits. Of the 1,218 responses, 86.8 percent of people said they have experienced a disruption or change in the form of gathering in groups for socialization, family outings, attending church services, and more.
Of those responses, 60.7 percent said they have experienced a change in eating habits, 55.2 percent said their hygiene habits have changed, 46 percent said they are now working from home, working less, or not working due to COVID-19, and 38.8 percent of people said they are now having to aid children in online learning, while 25.7 percent of people said they have experienced disruptions and changes in other ways.
Poll Shows Lack of Confidence in Health Care Systems’ Abilities to Handle Pandemic
When asked if they had confidence in the U.S. and Wyoming health care systems’ abilities to handle the COVID-19 outbreak, the majority of people polled said they do not have confidence.
Out of 1,347 responses, 54.3 percent of people said they do not have confidence, while 45.7 percent of people said they do have confidence.
When asked if they would seek a vaccine for COVID-19 if it were to become available, the majority of respondents said they would. Out of 1,338 responses, 75.1 percent of people said they would seek the vaccination and 24.9 percent of people said they would not.
We thank all of you that participated in the poll and we will continue covering this issue and the way it is affecting our community and readers. If you have ideas or suggestions for content, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
THE LATEST COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS NEWS & INFO FROM THE WYOMING DEPT. OF HEALTH
What to do if you feel sick: If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and are showing symptoms, like a temperature of 100 or greater or a cough, DO NOT go to the Emergency Room.
Please call your primary care provider or either Castle Rock Medical Center (Green River) at 307-872-4590 or Memorial Hospital’s Triage Line (Rock Springs) at 307-522-8523. The hotline is available 24/7.
Health professionals will be available to discuss your symptoms and address concerns regarding COVID-19 to determine if a visit or further testing is necessary.
Please follow these tips to slow the spread of this virus:
- Social Distancing – Stay 6 feet apart from others and
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds regularly. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue if you sneeze or cough and then throw the tissue away. If a tissue isn’t available, cough or sneeze into the inside of your elbow.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Clean and disinfect frequently-touched areas. For example: door knobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, tables, keyboards, phones, toilets, faucets and sinks.
- Avoid touching your mouth, eyes and nose with unwashed hands.
For current news, updates, closures and resources, please visit our COVID-19 Coronavirus page here.