HealthConnections: What Tennesseans Are Saying About COVID-19

Jul 14, 2020

Some Tennesseans are skeptical about COVID-19. They equate safer-at-home orders with tyranny. They don't like the idea of having to wear masks. They want stores to open and stay open. They are a mix of residents, business owners and elected officials. And they get a lot of attention on the news and in social media.

But are they representative of Tennesseans in general? Not according to a serial survey conducted by a team of University of Tennessee researchers.

The "TN Pulse Survey" conducted by the CORE-19 team reveals Tennesseans are aware of the virus, concerned about its effects, and are willing to take personal steps to tamp down on its spread.

The latest edition of the TN Pulse Survey found 74 percent of respondents are worried further relaxing restrictions will cause the virus to surge; more than two-thirds wear a facial mask in public; three-quarters practice social distancing; and about a third of Tennesseans won't feel comfortable resuming some outside-the-house activities, such as dining at a restaurant, until case counts fall consistently.

In this edition of HealthConnnections, CORE-19 team member Dr. Katie Cahill breaks down the survey results for us. She also explains why case counts matter, and how to interpret their significance.