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COVID-19 in Texas – Episcopal Health Foundation’s 2020 statewide survey
Half of Texans say they have suffered financially as a result of COVID-19 and more than one-third say they or someone in their household has skipped or postponed needed health care since the pandemic began. Those are just some of the findings from Episcopal Health Foundation’s statewide survey of Texans on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic across the state.
The comprehensive survey asked Texans about everything from their likelihood to get a COVID-19 vaccine to the experiences of essential workers to how prepared Texans think all levels of government are for another wave of COVID-19. The report highlights how the pandemic is affecting Texans differently depending on household income, race, whether they have health insurance, and many other factors.
The survey finds that more than one-third of Texans (36%) say they or someone in their household skipped or postponed some type of medical care due to the pandemic. Of those who went without care, researchers found 91% said they skipped preventive care like checkups, mammograms, colonoscopies, and child immunizations.
Researchers found that most Texans say their mental health is good, but nearly half (46%) say that worry or stress related to COVID-19 had a negative impact on their mental health.
When it comes to receiving health treatment using telemedicine or virtual visits during COVID-19, the survey finds that 22% of Texans either don’t have a device with internet access or don’t know how to talk with a doctor online. Researchers found those without a device or internet access are more likely to be older, have lower incomes, have lower levels of education and more likely to reside in rural areas.
The survey also confirmed that Texas continues to have the nation’s highest rate of people without health insurance, and that the pandemic has made the situation worse. Almost one in three (29%) Texans said they are uninsured and 8% said they lost their health insurance at some point during the pandemic.
The survey finds that 50% of Texans say the pandemic has caused financial hardship for them and their household, including 22% who say it’s caused severe financial suffering. Hispanic Texans, those without health insurance, and households who earn less than $50,000 per year were more likely to say they have suffered financially.
In addition, researchers found more than one-third (37%) of Texans say someone in their household has lost their job, their business, or had work hours reduced. The survey found 42% of Texans with less than a college degree lost income during the pandemic compared to 27% of college graduates.
Researchers found that 34% of Texans say they are considered essential workers. The survey finds that 43% of essential workers are Hispanic, 38% are White, and 10% are Black. Those who hold essential jobs are more likely to receive government assistance like food programs and Medicaid. Researchers also found these essential workers are also less likely to have health insurance.
Overall, the survey finds that 59% of Texans said they are very likely or somewhat likely to get a potential COVID-19 vaccine. However, researchers found that only 46% of Republicans say they’re likely to get the vaccine, compared to 72% of Democrats. In addition, the survey finds Hispanic (63%) and White (59%) Texans are more likely to say they would get the vaccine than Black Texans (49%).
The survey shows that Black Texans are far more likely to say they feel the worst is yet to come for the pandemic in Texas. While less than half of Texans overall (44%) say they think the worst is coming, researchers found that 72% of Black Texans think the worst is ahead, compared to Hispanic (43%) and White (19%) Texans.
In addition, Black (73%) and Hispanic (55%) Texans say they’re very concerned about another wave of COVID-19 hitting the state. Researchers found that’s much higher than similar concerns from Texans overall (46%) and White Texans (34%).
Episcopal Health Foundation’s Texas COVID-19 Survey was conducted by telephone August 5 – September 18, 2020 among a random representative sample of 1,889 adults age 18 and older living in the state of Texas (note: persons without a telephone could not be included in the random selection process). Interviews were administered in English and Spanish, combining random samples of both landline (367) and cellular telephones (1,522, including 1,224 who had no landline telephone).
The margin of sampling error for this study is plus or minus 3 percentage points for results based on the total sample. For results based on subgroups, the margin of sampling error may be higher.
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