Community survey shows impact worldwide pandemic has had on Chambers County

Published 6:36 pm Friday, April 24, 2020

EDITOR’S NOTE: A chart in the published paper-edition of The Valley Times-News has the “yes” and “no” results backward on one question. The story is correct. Only 10.4 percent of survey takers had a family member diagnosed with COVID-19. The article also said Troup County instead of Chambers County when listing total cases.

It appears the majority of people in Chambers County believe Alabama’s stay at home order should be extended beyond the end of April.

More than half — 51.9 percent — of responses in a recent Valley Times-News community survey said that the order should be extended one more week. A total of 309 people took the survey, or roughly 1 percent of Chambers County’s population.

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There were 12 questions included in the survey, which did not ask for any identifying information. Only one of the 12 questions was required, asking if the respondent works or lives in Chambers County. To deter anyone outside from Chambers County from taking part, no option was given for a non-Chambers County resident.

Here’s a closer look at the responses:

Background information

While the survey did not ask for any identifying information, it did ask for general information. Fifty-three percent of people who took the survey live and work in Chambers County. A total of 37.5 percent the responses came from people who live in Chambers County but work elsewhere. A smaller portion, 9.1 percent, came from people who live elsewhere but work in Chambers County.

Most of the responses to the survey were from people in the 40-59 age range. A total of 46.9 percent of responses came from that age range. Also, making up a large portion of the responses was the 19-39 age range, which was responsible for 35.3 percent of survey takers. Residents 60 and older represented 16.8 percent of the survey responses, and 1 percent of responses were from people 18 and younger.

Personal impact from COVID-19

According to the results, a little over one-fifth of survey takers have seen an impact on their income via less work. Survey takers were specifically asked if they or their spouse had lost their job or been furloughed during the COVID-19 crisis. A total of 21.2 percent of responses were “yes.” The majority of responses, or 78.8 percent, were no.

However, most people have had their job impacted in other ways. Most people who responded to the survey — or 31.5 percent — said they are not working. But survey takers who are working were split on how they are performing their job duties.

Most responses, or 30.8 percent, said that they were working from their office. However, 28.2 percent of people said they are working at home. Around One-tenth, or 9.4 percent, of the responses said they were splitting time between their home and office. 

Level of concern

While most survey responses show that people believe Ivey’s stay at home order should be extended, the length was not as clear. As noted above, 51.9 percent of responses believe it should be extended more than one week. Other responses included 22.1 percent believing it should be extended at least a week, 21.4 percent believing the state should reopen when the state expires at the end of April, and 4.5 percent believing the state should reopen before the order expires.

It’s clear that the majority of people in Chambers County have a lot of concern about COVID-19.

The survey asked respondents to describe their level of concern about the pandemic, and 53.1 percent of responses said they were extremely concerned. More than one-third, or 34 percent, said they were fairly concerned.

A smaller amount, 10 percent, said they were a little concerned. A total of 9 responses, or 2.9 percent, said they had no concern.

Most of the people who responded to the survey did not have a family member diagnosed with COVID-19. A total of 32 responses said yes, which is 10.4 percent.

As of Friday morning, Chambers County had 275 confirmed cases and 16 deaths, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health. Troup County had 122 cases and fourth deaths, via the Georgia Department of Public Health.

Going out in

public

Georgia is easing restrictions and starting to open back up next week, and customers at Georgia restaurants will be able to dine in. However, it doesn’t appear many people in Chambers County plan to dine-in.

A total of 91.3 percent of survey takers said they do not plan on visiting a dine-in restaurant in Georgia next week.

Based on the survey, it appears the majority of Chambers County residents are wearing a mask when they go out in public. Of the 309 responses, 60.8 percent said they are wearing a mask when going outside their home.

Government

The survey also asked respondents to rank local government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic in a one to ten ranking, with one being worst and ten being best. The survey did not ask specifically about local governments and instead grouped them together under this one question.

The average grade was 5.9. More than one-fifth of responses, or 22.3 percent, gave local governments a grade of 5. Seven was the second most popular response with 17.2 percent and 8 was the third most popular response at 15.2 percent. Six was the fourth most popular response at 13.6 percent. A total of 48 responses gave local governments a one, two or three grade.

Future Outlook

Some of the final questions on the survey asked about moving forward.

Almost half of the survey takers, or 48.2 percent, said they do not believe they’ll feel comfortable attending a sporting event, concert or similar event at some point in 2020. A total of 33.3 percent of people responded “maybe,” and 18.4 percent said they would feel comfortable.

Most people, or 32.7 percent, who responded to the survey, believe that life will return to normal at some point in 2021 or beyond. The second most popular answer was by the end of summer at 29.8 percent. Third was by the end of 2020 with 22.7 percent of responses. A total of 14.9 percent of responses believe everything will return to normal in the next few weeks.