COVID-19: Survey Results Shed Light On The Impact on New York Communities

Nov. 23, 2020:

A statewide survey on the effects of COVID-19 shows most New Yorkers are worried about themselves or family members being infected with COVID-19 and are experiencing mental health issues.

The survey was commissioned by United Way of New York State in partnership with United Ways across the state, including United Way of the Southern Tier, to shed light on the impact COVID-19 on New York communities. The survey results will help guide and inform United Ways across the state on how to best support New York families through long-term recovery and beyond.

The survey, which closed Nov. 3 with 5,796 responses, revealed that, across the state: 
Most respondents expressed an overwhelming fear of catching COVID-19 (80.7%), followed by a concern with mental health issues (47.6%).
Families are concerned about childcare/education and/or remote learning (31.6% of respondents listed this as a top concern); and 61.7% of respondents with children report challenges with juggling work and children’s needs. 
Hourly workers were far less likely to transition to remote work (32.6%) than salaried workers (63.3%).
Of those looking for work, 54.4% reported difficulty finding a job and 46% reported being unable to find a job that provides a sufficient income.

COVID-19 has also disproportionally affected households that were struggling to meet basic needs before the pandemic. According to the survey, these households were: 
Statistically more concerned about childcare and education than households with higher incomes.
More likely to receive food from a food bank, borrow from friends/family and apply for government assistance than households with higher incomes.

By comparison, households that weren’t struggling financially were more likely to be concerned about non-COVID medical issues and paying off debt, and were more likely to increase credit card debt. 

“United Way of the Southern Tier was proud to be part of this survey effort and will use the results to help guide further conversations and community action to support those in need in our community, ” said Stephen M. Hughes, president and CEO of United Way of the Southern Tier. 

Since March, United Way of the Southern Tier has provided crucial financial help to programs in Chemung and Steuben counties that serve children, families and struggling families. United Way continues to coordinate and share volunteer and donation needs of local programs.  Additionally, this fall, United Way of the Southern Tier awarded grants to expand distance learning sites in our two counties as schools went into a hybrid model. 

For more information about ways to support those affected by COVID-19, click here 

The survey was administered from Oct. 13-Nov. 3, 2020.