Survey Reveals Local Thoughts On COVID-19

Oct 22, 2020

Credit Rachael McDonald

600 people in Lane County participated in a phone survey on COVID-19 that was conducted by the Patinkin Research Institute. Lane County Public Health released some of the findings on Thursday.

At a press conference, public health spokesperson Jason Davis said 75% of people surveyed said COVID-19 poses a serious public health risk. And 68% are concerned about their own health should they contract the disease. 

Though Davis expressed concern that this means 25% percent of individuals don’t think COVID-19 is a serious risk.

“We have some significant work to do around helping people understand that COVID-19 does pose a health threat regardless of your age or health status,” Davis said. “We’ve seen a lot of variability in health outcomes for individuals.”

The survey also found 86% of individuals are confident wearing masks is a good public health strategy and do wear masks themselves. 83% percent believe limiting social gatherings is also a good strategy. 

However, only 74% think physical distancing is an effective public health strategy. Davis said his variation is concerning as all three strategies should be closer together.

“So the fact that masking is the highest, our analysts when they looked at this were concerned that the mask message may be overshadowing some of the other very important health strategies,” Davis said.

Though the report has given public health some valuable information, Davis said, LCPH recognizes there are some limitations of the report in terms of demographics. 

Most survey takers lived in the Eugene and Springfield area, and the majority of individuals identified as white. 

“In terms of the representation of other racial minorities and ethnic minorities, we received roughly half of the representation. For instance Latinx individuals comprise of 9% of our county, and we received just under 5% response,” Davis said,  

Davis said more findings from this report will be released soon.

Copyright 2020 KLCC