The Early Response to the Coronavirus-Surveys in Southern Texas

  •  Meng Zhao    
  •  Laura Monahan    
  •  Michael Monahan    
  •  Yuxia Huang    
  •  Sunil Mathur    


The objective of this study was to investigate if Southern Texas communities were prepared in their awareness and knowledge of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in timed snapshots as the pandemic unfolded. Two assessment surveys were implemented utilizing the Coronavirus Awareness and Preparedness Scale (CAPS) in March and April 2020, respectively. A convenience sample of university faculty in Southern Texas was used. Responses to survey questions changed significantly in the one-month timeframe. Respondents' perception of the COVID-19 threat increased dramatically from March to April, while their perceived preparedness facing the COVID-19 also increased tremendously. The recognized benefits of mask-wearing were limited in both March and April. Males and older people aged 55 and above had significantly lower awareness of the COVID-19 in March (p< 0.05) and may need more attention at the early phases of a pandemic. The increased availability of COVID-19 information through public health agencies led to the increased awareness of COVID-19. When facing a pandemic, both healthcare education and health care policy approaches are essential in addressing the containment and the eradication of COVID-19.

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