Half of Texans say they’ve suffered financially because of COVID-19 and for many groups the economic impact is severe. Those are just some of the findings from Episcopal Health Foundation’s latest 2021 statewide survey on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic across the state.
The survey was conducted in November 2021 before the omicron variant spread quickly across the state. Researchers asked Texans about everything from the continued impact on finances to personal experiences with serious COVID-related illness to ongoing concerns about the state of the pandemic. The report highlights how the pandemic is affecting Texans differently depending on household income, race, and many other factors.
The pandemic continues to hit Texans financially
The survey found that 49% of Texans say the pandemic has caused financial hardship for them and their household, including 16% who say it’s caused severe financial suffering. Hispanic Texans (58%), especially those who were not born in the U.S. (71%), and families who earn less than $66,000 per year (62%) were much more likely to say they have suffered financially due to COVID-19.
Most Texans have personal experience with severe illness due to COVID-19
The survey found that more than half of Texans (54%) say themselves or someone they know has been seriously ill or hospitalized with COVID-19 and 29% say they know someone who has died due to complications from the virus. Researchers also discovered that one-quarter of Texans say they have a close friend or family member who died from COVID-19.
Many Texans support proof of vaccinations to go to schools, some businesses
Researchers found that a majority of Texas parents with older children favor a vaccine requirement. The survey showed that 56% of parents with children between the ages of 12 to 17 said they’d support schools requiring vaccination of all students and staff who are eligible.
The statewide survey also found that nearly half of Texans (46%) would support local proof-of-vaccination mandates to go to restaurants, theaters, and other non-essential businesses. Democrats (76%), Texans over age 65 (59%) and Independents (43%) were more likely to support the vaccine mandates compared to Republicans (21%).
Even before the omicron variant hit Texas, a large majority of Texans were concerned about the state of pandemic
Overall, the survey found that 70% of Texans say they were at least somewhat concerned about the state of COVID-19 in Texas. Texans over age 65 (78%), those who say they are in poor health (78%), and Texans with chronic health conditions or a disability (76%) were most likely to be concerned about the state of COVID-19.
SSRS conducted the 2021 Texas Health Tracking Survey on behalf of Episcopal Health Foundation (EHF) from October 20 through November 18, 2021. SSRS interviewed a representative sample of 1,203 Texas adults (age 18 or older), reached via landline (n=352) and cell phone (n=851; including n= 705 who could not be reaching via landline) random digit dialing (RDD). Interviews were conducted by live professional telephone interviewers in English or Spanish based on the respondent’s language preference.
To schedule an interview, contact Brian Sasser at [email protected] or 832-795-9404.