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REPORT: Forty percent of Central Texas residents have skipped or postponed medical care since March 2020

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"As more data becomes available, a clearer and more complete picture is being revealed – Black and Latino people are being disproportionately affected by the pandemic further amplifying the health inequities experienced by the Black community and people of color. We remain committed to listening and learning from our Central Texas community as we assess the long-term impact of COVID-19 and provide vital support and resources to those shouldering the brunt of this crisis.”

Elena Marks
CEO, Episcopal Health Foundation
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"COVID-19 is highlighting how social and economic conditions play a key role in everyday health and Texans say that’s especially true during a public health crisis like this.”

Dr. Edward Burger
President and CEO, St. David's Foundation
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DOWNLOAD THE REPORT

Study of nearly two thousand Texas residents shows you don't have to be directly infected for Covid-19  to negatively impact your health. 

Results from the Central Texas COVID-19 Survey released this week found that four in 10 residents or someone in their household have skipped or postponed needed medical care since the pandemic began and almost all surveyed shared they have postponed or skipped preventive care. The survey, led by Episcopal Health Foundation and co-sponsored by St. David’s Foundation, examined the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic across five Central Texas counties (Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, Travis, and Williamson).

The survey finds that 44% of those surveyed in Central Texas say they skipped some form of medical care, compared to 36% who skipped care in the rest of Texas.

Of those in Central Texas who went without care, researchers found that 95% said they skipped preventive care like checkups, mammograms, colonoscopies, and child immunizations. Researchers found that those who say COVID-19 caused them and their family financial hardship (52%) are more likely to say they skipped or postponed medical care than those who didn’t suffer financially (36%).

The comprehensive Central Texas survey asked people living in Central Texas about their likelihood to get a COVID-19 vaccine, how prepared Texans think all levels of government are for another wave of COVID-19, worries about the future, and much more. The report highlights how the pandemic is affecting Central Texas residents differently depending on household income, race, whether they have health insurance, and many other factors.

Other health impacts of COVID-19

The survey finds that while most people living in Central Texans say their mental health is good, more than half (56%) say that worry or stress related to COVID-19 had a negative impact on their mental health. Researchers found that’s higher than the percentage of the rest Texas (45%) who reported similar mental health concerns.   When it comes to receiving health treatment using telemedicine or virtual visits during the pandemic, the survey finds that almost half (46%) of Central Texas residents have talked with a doctor or health care provider by video. However, researchers also found that 14% of people either don’t have a device with internet access or don’t know how to talk with a doctor online.

Reported likelihood of getting a COVID-19 vaccine

Overall, the survey finds that 73% of Central Texas residents are very likely or somewhat likely to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Researchers found that’s a higher percentage than the rest of Texas who said they are at least somewhat likely to get a potential vaccine (58%). In addition, the survey finds that White residents in Central Texas (54%) are more likely to get the vaccine than non-White residents (44%).

The pandemic hits Central Texans financially

The survey finds that 45% of Central Texans say the pandemic has caused financial hardship for them and their household. The survey shows that 14% of residents in Central Texas say it’s caused them severe financial suffering. Researchers found that’s less that the percentage of those who live in the rest of Texas who say they suffered severe financial hardship (23%).

Non-White residents in Central Texas (57%) and those with household incomes less than $75,000 per year (52%) are more likely to say they have suffered severe or moderate financial hardship than White residents (34%) and those in households with incomes above $75,000 (34%).

In addition, researchers found more than one-third (37%) of Central Texans say someone in their household has lost their job, their business, or had work hours reduced. Researchers found that about one-third (32%) of those in Central Texas say they are considered essential workers.

Economic worries continue due to the pandemic

The survey shows that two-thirds of those living in Central Texas (66%) are very worried that a local business will close permanently during the outbreak and almost half (46%) say they are very worried that the state’s local economy will suffer even more. Researchers found that those local economic worries are higher in Central Texas than those in rest of Texas who are very worried about local businesses closing (58%) and the state’s economy (39%).

10 additional highlights from the COVID-19 in Central Texas survey report

METHODOLOGY

The Episcopal Health Foundation (EHF) 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 including 325 respondents in the Central Texas region (note: persons without a telephone could not be included in the random selection process). Residents in Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, Travis, and Williamson counties were considered part of the Central Texas region sample. Interviews in the Central Texas region were administered in English and Spanish, combining random samples of both landline (54) and cellular telephones (271, including 222 who had no landline telephone). Sampling, data collection, weighting and tabulation were managed by SSRS in close collaboration with Episcopal Health Foundation researchers. • Weighting is generally used in survey analysis to compensate for sample designs and patterns of non-response that might bias results. The survey data are weighted to balance the sample demographics to match estimates for the Central Texas adult population. A multi-stage weighting design was applied to ensure an accurate representation of the Central Texas adult population. The margin of sampling error for this study is plus or minus 6 percentage points for results based on the total sample. For results based on subgroups, the margin of sampling error may be higher.