A representative survey of Eugeneans conducted late last year reveals that while the pandemic has significantly impacted our community emotionally and financially, people in Eugene stepped up to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and protect each other from the virus. The Eugene City Council will have an opportunity to review and discuss the survey results at their work session at noon on Wednesday, April 14.
The City of Eugene worked with ETC Institute, a survey research firm that developed a standardized, national survey instrument to measure the impacts of COVID-19 on households nationwide. In December 2020, ETC mailed surveys to a random, representative sample of households in Eugene, resulting in a statically valid set of survey responses and a demographic make-up which aligns with the community’s current demographics. A total of 603 households completed the survey.
Survey results indicate that the vast majority of Eugene community members were taking recommended precautions to protect themselves and the community from the spread of COVID-19.
- Ninety‐eight percent (97.8%) of Eugene residents indicated they are wearing a mask to mitigate the spread of COVID‐19.
As anticipated, COVID-19 has had a significant emotional impact for many in our community.
- According to the survey, four out of ten (45%) of residents are experiencing emotional distress as a result of COVID‐19.
- Results also showed that access to mental health services may be more difficult for those with lower incomes. Those reporting lower incomes were more likely to not be able access mental health services when needed.
Financial impacts to local households have also been significant according to the survey.
- Twenty‐seven percent (26.9%) of Eugene residents indicated their financial situation has worsened as a result of the COVID‐19 outbreak. For many this has meant reduced work hours, decreased sales, postponed projects or contracts, or losing a job. The food service industry was the top industry in which people reported losing jobs.
- One out of ten (10%) residents had trouble paying for necessities (rent/mortgage, food, utilities, etc.) during the pandemic and thirteen percent (13%) think they will have problems paying for necessities.
Survey results also indicate that the pandemic had unequal impacts across our community. Communities of color and those whose primary language is Spanish report higher rates of negative impacts.
- People identifying as non-white reported significantly higher need regarding finances, trouble paying for necessities, losing a job and thinking their financial situation will get worse.
The full ETC report is available online. ETC also provides an online interactive dashboard that allows users to look at the results by topic area and using various filters. In addition to the ETC survey, the City administered a similar opt-in survey, in both English and Spanish, through the Engage Eugene web platform, which received over 1,600 combined responses. An overview of those results will also be shared with the City Council at their April 14 work session.