Survey: North Country residents want stricter social distancing enforcement

ABC50 NOW

NORTH COUNTRY, N.Y. (WWTI) – The Jefferson County Public Health Service, the Lewis County Public Health and the St. Lawrence County Public Health Department working with the Center for Community Studies at Jefferson Community College conducted a survey regarding impacts of COVID-19 on area residents.

The survey was conducted April 1-3, 2020 with 2,076 tri-county residents responding.

Highlights of the survey results include the following:

  • 54.5% felt more isolated and lonely than usual (57% Jefferson, 52%=Lewis, 52%=St. Lawrence) and 64% felt more anxiety and nervousness than usual (67% Jefferson, 62%=Lewis, 62%=St. Lawrence). The younger the person, the more likely they were to report these feelings.
  • 71% report very or somewhat concerned that they or a loved one will get COVID-19 (Jefferson 66%, Lewis 67% and St. Lawrence 76%).
  • 79% are concerned that local healthcare workers will contract COVID-19 and be unable to work (77%=Jefferson, 77%=Lewis, 82%= St. Lawrence).
  • 59% have very serious or somewhat serious concerns that not enough testing is being done locally (33%=Jefferson, 27%=Lewis, 44.5%=St. Lawrence).
  • 53% of parents with children are finding it difficult to provide children’s education at home (Jefferson=57%, Lewis=43.5%, St. Lawrence=52%).
  • 24% had visited with friends inside their friend’s home or their own home at least once in the past week (29%=Jefferson, 27%=Lewis, 20%= St. Lawrence). The younger the person the more likely they reported doing this.
  • 33% reported a loss of income from a job or business (35%=Jefferson, 37%=Lewis, 30%=St. Lawrence).
  • Among those people still employed, 47% have very serious or somewhat serious concerns with losing income (47% Jefferson, 42%=Lewis, 47%= St. Lawrence).
  • 59.5% report concern that the US will not go far enough in limiting the movement and activities of Americans. (57%=Jefferson, 54%=Lewis, 63% =St. Lawrence)
  • Residents report overall trust in the US leadership, NYS government and the local health department. 66% report satisfaction with the local health department with 9.8% ‘unsure’ (63%=Jefferson, 75%=Lewis, 68%=St. Lawrence).
  • When asked the open ended question, “please describe what you feel is the single most important thing that North Country Public Health Departments and/or Economic Development leaders could do to help you”, the top 2 responses that the majority of the respondents answered with were:
    • 1. communicate more/better
    • 2. enforce social distancing/restrictions.

The completed survey results and methodology used is available on your local health department’s website. Your health department will use this data to understand the effects on the local community, identify priorities for action, understand key implementation challenges, track progress, and identify gaps. The public’s assistance is greatly appreciated.

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