Coronavirus in Tennessee: Data collection of economic well-being happening through the summer


TN Economic Recovery Group to partner with University of Tennessee researchers for data collection

FILE – In this March 16, 2020, file photo, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee answers questions concerning the state’s response to the coronavirus during a news conference in Nashville, Tenn. Tennessee abortion providers are asking a federal judge to order that abortions can go forward despite an executive order from Gov. Lee aimed at reducing the spread of the coronavirus. Their lawyers argue in a motion filed on Monday, April 13, 2020, that Lee’s order blocking “nonemergency healthcare procedures” should not apply to abortions. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)

TENNESSEE (WATE) — Surveyors with the state and the University of Tennessee will be collecting data from Tennesseans regarding economic well-being amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and reopening initiatives.

Governor Bill Lee’s office has announced that the state’s Economic Recovery Group (ERG) is partnering with the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy, and the Social Work Office of Research and Public Service (SWORPS) to collectively collect and analyze survey data.

The purpose of this partnership is for the group to conduct surveys every other week through the summer to track Tennessean’s sense of safety and economic well-being as the state moves through its reopening phases.

The first round of data was released Wednesday: Consumer Sentiments about COVID-19 in Tennessee

The governor’s office reports that the data states that the economic impacts of COVID-19 are just as real as the health impacts to many Tennesseans.

Survey takeaways so far:

Overall, 77% of respondents support the Tennessee Pledge, and most report taking additional precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The survey polled 1,100 Tennesseans in both metro and rural areas and covers such COVID-related topics as health and economic concerns, personal financial impact, activity reengagement, COVID-19 prevention and Tennessee Pledge. Baker Center researchers who are part of the university’s CORE-19 team helped form the survey questions in cooperation with the governor’s ERG and will provide research support throughout the data collection process. SWORPS, a center in the university’s College of Social Work, will coordinate administration of the survey and offer technical support and evaluation expertise.

Tennessee began a phased reopening under the Tennessee Pledge, a plan to help Tennesseans get back to work safely and reboot the economy. Restaurants resumed business with limited capacity on April 27, quickly followed by a number of additional industries enabling tens thousands of Tennesseans to return to work.

Governor Bill Lee’s office

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