ODU survey shows concerns among residents on contracting, spreading COVID-19


NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A survey conducted by Old Dominion University indicates that residents in Hampton Roads have concerns about spreading the virus unknowingly and about being hospitalized after contracting the virus.

The Social Science Research Center (SSRC) at ODU polled 1,105 people in an online survey between June 26 and July 13, during phase 2 and phase 3 of reopening Virginia — 1,100 of which were Hampton Roads residents within the seven cities.

Data was collected for the 11th annual Life in Hampton Roads (LIHR) survey which was conducted to better understand how the community sees the quality of life throughout Hampton Roads. Topics addressed included the coronavirus pandemic and health-related concerns.

The results show that about 75% of Hampton Roads residents felt that their health, in general, was good (19.6%) or excellent (55.8%). However, even though residents reported generally good health, more than two-thirds expressed concerns regarding spreading the virus to others without knowing it (67.8%). 

The data show that only 12% knew someone who tested positive without symptoms and 15.1% knew someone who had been ill from the virus. About 8% knew someone who was seriously ill but did not require hospitalization and 10.1% knew someone who had been hospitalized. Only 8% of respondents knew someone personally who had died as a result of the virus.

Of those who took the survey, about 90% responded that they wear their masks with about 85% saying they practice social distancing in public settings.

Measures that residents believe are helping reduce the spread include washing hands, wearing a mask, and social distancing.

Respondents who agree and disagree with COVID-19 safety measures in place
(Courtesy: Old Dominion University)

Results show that over three-quarters (76.4%) of respondents would take a nasal swab to return to work with 8.3% saying they would not be willing to get tested.

Across Hampton Roads, those who were concerned about contracting the virus and being hospitalized varied drastically across the seven cities. The highest number of concerned residents were in Norfolk (40%), Suffolk (31.8%), and Newport News (37.8%).

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