In the fall, CK Public Health worked with IPSOS to do a community survey about COVID-19. Thank you to our community members who took part. Below, we share why we did the survey, what we learned, and what we’re doing with the information.
Why a survey on COVID-19 in Chatham-Kent?
In short, the answers to the survey questions help us make informed decisions about our COVID-19 response.
The Ontario Public Health Standards (OPHS) set out requirements for all Ontario public health units. As part of the Standards, we must gather information to understand the current context and make informed decisions about the programs and services we offer.
We did this survey to:
- learn about the impact of our work during the COVID-19 pandemic so far,
- make informed decisions moving forward,
- track some key areas that we can measure again in the future, and
- meet the OPHS requirements.
How was the COVID-19 Community Survey done?
On October 22nd & November 2nd, IPSOS did the telephone survey (landlines & cellphones) with 540 residents of Chatham-Kent. The survey was about 15 minutes long, and had questions about:
- trust & confidence in CK Public Health during the pandemic,
- the impact of COVID-19 on mental health,
- opinions and behaviours related to COVID-19, public health measures, and
- intentions to get the flu & COVID-19 vaccines.
The survey was representative of Chatham-Kent’s population by gender, age and region. This means we’re fairly confident that if we were to survey all residents of Chatham-Kent, we would end up with the same results we found with this survey of 540 people (with minor differences).
What did we learn from the COVID-19 Community Survey?
There is strong confidence in CK Public Health during the pandemic.
- 92% trust CK Public Health to protect the health & wellbeing of the community.
- 83% feel confident in our Medical Officer of Health to inform them of risks of the pandemic.
- 90% believe CK Public Health is doing a good job providing up-to-date information.
- Nearly 1/2 (49%) have visited the CK Public Health website or social media.
- 4 in 10 (44%) believe the media is exaggerating about the pandemic.
- Men, people 18-34 years old, parents & people with high school or less education are more likely to mistrust the media.
Chatham-Kent is resilient, but many people are experiencing poorer mental health.
- Although 62% of people who responded to the survey said their mental health has stayed the same, 3 in 10 say their mental health has gotten worse during the pandemic.
- People aged 18-34, women, parents & people with already poor mental health are more likely to say their mental health has gotten worse.
People’s opinions about the risk of COVID-19 vary.
- More than half (55%) say they’re worried about getting infected with COVID-19 this year. But, only 1/4 believe they would get very or extremely sick if diagnosed with COVID-19.
- People 65+ years of age, with a household income <$30K, or living with someone who is at-risk for complications are more likely to see COVID-19 as a risk to health.
- Men, people 18-34 years old, and those with high school or less education are less likely to see COVID-19 as a risk to their health.
Most believe public health measures are necessary and are following them.
- 89% agree public health measures are necessary to slow the spread of COVID-19. Women are more likely to say this.
- 1 in 5 believe public health measures are doing more harm than good. Men, people 18-34 years, parents & people with household incomes <$30K are more likely to believe this.
- 92% have adapted to public health measures, with more than 90% saying they wash their hands regularly or wear a face covering when they should.
- Fewer (60%) say they are consciously trying to reduce touching their face.
- Women are more likely to say they’re adhering to public health measures.
- 17% say they can’t follow public health measures because they live or work with a lot of people. People aged 18-34 years of age are more likely to say this.
A smaller group are not following social distancing measures.
- About 1 in 10 (12-14%) say they are ‘sometimes’ keeping 2M from others outside their household, are rarely/never limiting in-person gatherings to 10 people or less, are often/always participating in social gatherings or are often/always attending indoor places where it’s hard to distance or wear a face covering.
- People aged 18-34 are more likely to report taking part in some of these activities.
1 in 5 who show mild symptoms would not get tested immediately or self-isolate.
- Although 87% believe testing is available for those who need it, only 52% say they would get tested right away if they developed mild COVID-19 symptoms.
- 19% said they would wait to see if they got better & minimize their activity outside the home or would continue as normal, with some precaution.
- Top reasons for not getting tested immediately are that symptoms may be due to other causes or that it would depend on the severity of symptoms.
1 in 5 say they wouldn’t be able to self-isolate if they were feeling ill because of work/other responsibilities out of the home.
- Men, people aged 18-34 & parents are more likely to say this.
- It can be difficult for people to self-isolate. CK Public Health supports people to self-isolate. Every situation is different, but our staff ensure people have access to food, medications, healthcare and other services, income supports & even safe places to isolate.
Just over 1/2 say they will get the COVID-19 vaccine – slightly fewer say they’ll get the flu vaccine this year.
- 54% say they will definitely/probably get the COVID-19 vaccine. People 65+years are more likely to say they’ll get the vaccine.
- Almost 1/3 (29%) say they’re not sure if they will get the vaccine. Women & people 18-64 years of age are more hesitant.
- 17% say they probably/definitely won’t get the vaccine. People aged 18-34 & parents are more likely to say they won’t get the vaccine.
- The top reasons for not getting the vaccine: concerns about the efficacy, safety & feeling that the vaccine was too rushed or concerns about the side effects. Some were also against vaccinations in general.
- Just under 1/2 (46%) say they’ll get vaccinated against the flu this year.
- 1 in 5 (20%) aren’t sure if they’ll get the flu vaccine & 34% say they won’t.
- Women & people 65+ years are more likely to say they’ll get the flu vaccine, while people aged 18-34 are more likely to say they won’t get vaccinated against the flu.
How is CK Public Health Using this Information?
The findings from the survey help us understand how well we’re reaching our community and how much the community has confidence in our response. It also gives us an idea of where there are opportunities for targeted approaches within our community. Staff are using the results, along with other information, to make decisions about our COVID-response.
For More Information
Contact Laura Zettler firstname.lastname@example.org or 226.312.2025 ext. 2407