The coronavirus pandemic became increasingly prevalent throughout the entire world in February and continued to grow at a rapid pace in March of 2020, specifically impacting the United States. The virus has not only put society at risk of becoming ill (or worse) but has also negatively affected many local and national businesses as well as the economy. There was great uncertainty regarding the virus itself and the necessary precautions to prevent the spread.
HCP Associates was engaged by Hillsborough County leadership to conduct a community research study to hear from residents on their concerns, beliefs, challenges, and barriers that may impact their ability to obtain testing, gain correct information, and understand health guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19. HCP Associates worked at a rapid pace with Hillsborough County to create and distribute two different surveys for this study: a telephonic survey and an online survey administered via the website and a text message (SMS).
Combining input from random sampling and opt-in community feedback, HCP identified the trusted sources residents look to for information, sentiments around COVID-19 testing, knowledge about the virus, what health and safety practices are being followed, and other challenges residents are facing because of the pandemic. These data points allowed for Hillsborough County to improve countywide communication, and specifically address testing availability, safe health practices, and where to get trusted information.
Hillsborough County is also able to leverage the study’s findings along with credible information from medical sources, economists, scientists, and other experts to create a complete image of the current state of the county and to overcome challenges faced by residents as well as the pandemic.