More Data, Better Planning, Less Politics: Chapter 3

UST COVID-19 Resident Survey 1 highlights: While many residents support reopening the economy, a majority choose to err on the side of caution.

3 min readJul 10, 2020

To help local communities across the country assess the impact of COVID-19, we invited the USTomorrow community to participate in a series of surveys. Conducted by our partners Polco and the National Research Center, the results provide critical input to state and local governments as they navigate this pandemic.

This is the third set of survey highlights. Results are shown for a national sample of 3,073 respondents where 228 responses were from the UST community.

Thanks to those of you who completed UST Resident Survey 1!

UST Resident Survey 2 is up and waiting for your input. Please take a minute to make a difference.

We’ll provide a final analysis of Survey 1 and announce Survey 2 highlights and USTomorrow’s move into the new landscape soon. Stay tuned!

Previously, we shared highlights from Survey 1…

Chapter 1: The role of information in managing the pandemic and COVID-19 related knowledge gaps.

Chapter 2: While concerns about physical health continue, fiscal concerns are prevalent and on the rise.

Today’s highlight: While many residents support reopening the economy, a majority choose to err on the side of caution.

The COVID-19 pandemic has proved to be a constant balancing act between health and economic concerns. Survey respondents were asked their opinions on the trade-off between the two. Two-thirds of respondents reported that they would emphasize staying at home until more is known about how to treat the virus or a vaccine is developed. About one-third would prioritize opening the economy.

Respondents also rated the speed at which their communities and states were reopening. About half of residents completing the survey felt the rate of reopening of the local economy was about right for their city or town, while about 3 in 10 felt their municipality was moving too fast and 2 in 10 thought it was moving too slow. Respondents were more likely to think the County and State were moving too fast to lift restrictions compared to their municipal government.

Thinking about government plans to lift restrictions on businesses and community gathering areas or venues, how would you rate the reopening at each of the following levels of government?

As economies begin to reopen, safety measures have been, and will be, put in place to control the spread of the virus and make customers comfortable returning to local businesses.

The safety measures deemed most important by respondents were: enhanced cleaning & disinfecting, limiting the number of people to ensure physical distance, having all employees wear a mask, and having all customers wear masks, when possible — at least 7 in 10 respondents felt these safety measures were essential or important.

How important, if at all, are the following to make you feel comfortable enough to return to retail stores, restaurants, etc.?

Next Steps

Please take the UST Resident Survey 2 to allow us to dig deeper into the following topics:

  • How do residents feel about recovery and eliminating quarantine measures?
  • What policies or actions ease residents’ minds or make them more comfortable or uncomfortable?
  • How has COVID-19 affected resident spending and are those spending changes short term?
  • What challenges do residents face going back to work?

Click here to take the UST Resident Survey 2!

And thank you!




Using new data to educate and engage community coalitions on the issues left behind by today’s divisive politics.