NEW Bexar County Area COVID-19 Report
Almost 4 in 10 Bexar County area residents say they or someone in their household has skipped medical care since March
San Antonio, TX (October 20, 2020) – A majority of people who live in Bexar, Guadalupe, and Medina counties say they are “very concerned” about another wave of COVID-19 hitting the state and have skipped or postponed medical care since the pandemic began. That’s according to a new Episcopal Health Foundation survey focused on the pandemic’s impact in the Bexar County area sponsored by Methodist Healthcare Ministries.
The comprehensive survey asked residents about many different issues related to the pandemic including their mental health, access to telemedicine, health insurance and employment concerns, the importance of non-profit and government support, and more.
The survey finds that almost 4 in 10 people living in the Bexar County area (39 percent) say they or someone in their household skipped or postponed some type of medical care due to COVID-19. Of those who went without care, researchers found that 88 percent said they skipped preventive care like checkups, mammograms, colonoscopies, and child immunizations.
“The data in this report clarifies the breadth and depth of the impact COVID-19 has had on people in and around Bexar County,” said Jaime Wesolowski, President & CEO of Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas, Inc. “This study helps us better understand the different ways people’s well-being has been affected by the pandemic and shines a light on the health inequities that exist in the communities we serve. There is still much work to be done to address the needs of resilient families across South Texas so that their communities can thrive.”
The survey finds that most area residents say their mental health is good, but nearly half (45 percent) say that worry or stress related to COVID-19 had a negative impact on their mental health.
When it comes to receiving health treatment using telemedicine or virtual visits during COVID-19, the survey finds that 27 percent of Bexar County area residents say they either don’t have a device with internet access or don’t know how to talk with a doctor online.
The survey also confirmed that Bexar, Guadalupe and Medina counties continue to have a high rate of people without health insurance, and that the pandemic has made the situation worse. Researchers found that more than one quarter (26 percent) of area residents age 18-64 are uninsured and 5 percent said they lost their health insurance at some point during the pandemic.
Researchers found that people in the Bexar County area are more likely to be worried about another outbreak of COVID-19 than those living in other areas of Texas. The survey finds that 58 percent of area residents say they’re “very concerned” about another wave of the virus in Texas, compared to statewide survey results that show less than half (45 percent) of all Texans had the same worry.
In the Bexar County area, the survey also finds that more than half of residents (52 percent) say they feel the worst is yet to come in terms of the pandemic. Again, researchers found people in Bexar, Guadalupe and Medina counties are more likely to feel this way than those in the rest of Texas (43 percent).
COVID-19 hits Bexar County area financially Compounding these health care issues, the survey finds that a majority of those living in the Bexar County area (57 percent) say the pandemic has caused financial hardship for them and their household, including 22 percent who say it’s caused severe financial suffering. In addition, researchers found more than one-third (37 percent) of area residents say someone in their household has lost their job, their business, or had work hours reduced.
Reported likelihood of getting a COVID-19 vaccine in Bexar County area In looking to the future, researchers found that more Bexar County area residents say they’re “very likely” to get a COVID-19 vaccine than those in the rest of the state. Almost half (46 percent) of those living in Bexar, Guadalupe and Medina counties say they are “very likely” to get a COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available, compared to statewide results showing that 36 percent of Texans overall say the same thing. The survey finds that another 17 percent of area residents say they are “somewhat likely” to get a COVID-19 vaccine.
10 additional highlights from the COVID-19 in Bexar County area survey report:
- 36 percent of respondents wereessential workers—of which 70 percent identified themselves as Black, Hispanic, or other racial and ethnic minorities and only 30 percent identified as White.
- 21 percent of parents say their child would not have the support or supervision needed to successfully participate in online virtual classes for school.
- 64 percent say they’re very worried that local businesses will close permanently during the outbreak.
- 51 percent say they’re very worried that Texas’ local economy will suffer even more because of the pandemic.
- 43 percent say they think it will be 6 months to a year before life returns to normal.
- 32 percent say they’ve received any form of government assistance during the pandemic.
- 76 percent say they or someone in their household received financial assistance from the federal government.
- 49 percent say it’s very important for federal or state government to provide assistance with health care costs in response to COVID-19.
- 20 percent say they received food from a nonprofit organization or food bank.
- 8 say they’ve received help with rent payments.
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 265 residents in Bexar, Guadalupe, and Medina counties (note: persons without a telephone could not be included in the random selection process). Interviews in the Bexar County area were administered in English and Spanish, combining random samples of both landline (30) and cellular telephones (236, including 184 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 Bexar County area adult population. A multi-stage weighting design was applied to ensure an accurate representation of the Bexar County area adult population. The margin of sampling error for this study is plus or minus 7 percentage points for results based on the total sample. For results based on subgroups, the margin of sampling error may be higher.
To schedule an interview, contact Teno Villarreal, Communications Specialist, Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas, Inc.
Click to view the complete COVID-19 in Bexar County Area research report.
Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas, Inc. is a private, faith-based not-for-profit organization dedicated to creating access to health care for the uninsured through direct services, community partnerships and strategic grant-making in 74 counties across South Texas. Guided by its mission of "Serving Humanity to Honor God," Methodist Healthcare Ministries’ vision is to be the leader for improving wellness of the least served. The mission also includes Methodist Healthcare Ministries' one-half ownership of the Methodist Healthcare System, the largest healthcare system in South Texas, which creates a unique avenue to ensure that it continues to be a benefit to the community by providing quality care to all and charitable care when needed. For more information, visit www.mhm.org.
Episcopal Health Foundation: www.episcopalhealth.org By providing millions of dollars in grants, working with congregations and community partners, and providing important research, the Episcopal Health Foundation supports solutions that address the underlying causes of poor health in Texas. EHF was established in 2013, is based in Houston, and has more than $1.2 billion in estimated assets. #HealthNotJustHealthcare
SSRS is a full-service market and survey research firm managed by a core of dedicated professionals with advanced degrees in the social sciences. Service offerings include the Omnibus Survey, the SSRS Opinion Panel and other Online Solutions, as well as custom research programs – all driven by a central commitment to methodological rigor. The SSRS team is renowned for its multimodal approach, as well as its sophisticated and proprietary sample designs. Typical projects for the company include complex strategic, tactical and public opinion initiatives in the U.S. and in more than 40 countries worldwide. SSRS is research, refined.