In an online survey of almost 45,000 Coloradans, nearly three-quarters are “very concerned” about coronavirus, with a majority taking the recommended steps to guard against exposure.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment created the questionnaire, which revealed that half of the respondents have symptoms of anxiety and 90% believe it is likely that they will contract COVID-19 at some point.
“This sample may have been more concerned about COVID-19 and may have been more likely to have made behavior changes,” the department noted, adding that the voluntary survey was available on the CDPHE website. As such, the sample did not necessarily reflect the population statewide. Rural respondents comprised less than 20% of survey-takers, and people who identified as white made up almost 87% of the sample. (Approximately two-thirds of Coloradans are non-Hispanic white.)
The survey also ran from March 22-24, before two key events happened. First, on March 25, Gov. Jared Polis announced a stay-at-home order, escalating the attempt to reduce transmission of the virus. Second, deaths from COVID-19 hit double digits that same day. As of Sunday, the number of fatalities stood at 47.
Respondents indicated that 40% do not have paid leave if they were to get sick, and roughly the same percentage were working from home at the time of the survey. Nearly everyone in the sample indicated that they were washing their hands more frequently and avoiding large gatherings, both of which are medically-recommended guidelines. More than one-third said that they are “stockpiling food and other household items,” actions which have led to shortages of essential goods at supermarkets.
“We’re relieved to see that so many people are doing their part to slow the spread of this deadly virus,” said Jill Hunsaker Ryan, executive director of CDPHE. “If we keep this up, we will protect our health care system from being overloaded with critical cases and countless lives will be saved.”