The majority of Coloradans are “very concerned” about COVID-19 in Colorado, according to results of a Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment survey asking residents about their perceptions and attitudes related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nearly 45,000 Coloradans completed the survey between March 22 and March 24.

A press release listed highlights of the survey, including:

  • 72 percent of respondents are “very concerned” about COVID-19 in Colorado.
  • Among 18- to 29-year-old respondents, 59 percent are “very concerned” about COVID-19 in Colorado.
  • Nearly 90 percent of respondents think it’s somewhat or very likely that they would get sick from the novel coronavirus.
  • Half (50 percent) of respondents have a combination of symptoms indicative of generalized anxiety over the last two weeks.
  • A large majority of the respondents are taking extra precautions around COVID-19 to keep the community healthy:
  • 97 percent are washing their hands with soap and water more frequently.
  • 96 percent are avoiding large gatherings.
  • 35 percent are stockpiling food and other household items.
  • Three in four respondents would try to get tested if they were exposed or had symptoms. The most common reason respondents selected would be to help the public health system build a better picture of how the virus is spreading.

• Of those who would not get tested:

Three in four respondents said they would isolate themselves from others regardless.

More than 50 percent of respondents would not get tested because they are not sure if they meet the criteria for testing.

  • 3 percent think the virus isn’t that serious.
  • 40 percent of part-time, full-time or self-employed respondents do not have access to paid leave if they were not able to work because of illness.
  • 43 percent of respondents are now working from home in response to COVID-19. However, the survey was conducted prior to the statewide stay-at-home order.
  • 11 percent of respondents have had their hours reduced, 9 percent have temporarily lost their jobs and 1 percent have permanently lost their jobs due to COVID-19.
    The survey was fielded among a sample of Coloradans who accessed the survey by going to the state health department website. The sample may have been more concerned about COVID-19 and may have been more likely to have made behavior changes.

Health officials said the link to the survey was shared widely after release, so that bias may have been reduced. Although people of all racial and ethnic groups took the survey, Hispanic and black or African American participants are underrepresented.

“This survey shows what we already knew, that Coloradans are strong, and we are all in this together,” said Jill Hunsaker Ryan, executive director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. “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.”

From our sister paper The Mountain Mail at www.themountainmail.com

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