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1M take ROC COVID survey, symptoms at 1% but major gaps with the young, poor and rural

Berkeley Brean
Updated: July 30, 2020 05:34 PM
Created: July 30, 2020 02:35 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — A survey of COVID-19 symptoms shows our region is moving in the right direction. But it also shows a gap in the people who take the survey. 

24,081 people in Monroe County and 11 counties that surround it are signed up for the daily ROC COVID survey. Since the survey began in the spring, 1,019,754 symptom screens were submitted. 

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The daily screen asks if you have any of the COVID-19 symptoms and you're asked to answer yes or no. In May, the number of people who answered yes was 2%. Since June 20, the number has been 1% and it remains at 1% today. 

Albert Blankley, Common Ground Health: "So what that means folks are telling us that they're feeling generally healthy and we're not seeing a whole lot of symptoms that are associated with COVID-19."

Click here to sign up for the survey.

If you look at the ROC COVID map the darker green areas show where most people take the survey. There is good participation in the suburbs of Monroe County, particularly on the east side. 

But there is a gap in the poorest zip codes in the city and in the surrounding counties. 

For instance, 6.3% of the population in zip code 14618, Brighton, Pittsford and the southeast neighborhoods of Rochester, take the survey, but less than 1% of people who live in zip code 14621, the north side of the city between St. Paul St., Clifford Avenue, Ridge Road and Goodman Street, take the survey. 

And less than 1% take the survey in zip code 14513 which is Wayne County and the Village of Newark. 1.1% of the population in and around Geneseo, Livingston County take the survey. 

There is also a gap in the number of young people taking the survey. Only 3% of the registered survey takers are between 18 and 24 years old. According to the Monroe County Public Health Department, at least 60 men and women in their 20s and 30s tested positive for COVID-19 since Thursday, July 23. That is the majority of the positive cases. 

Jackie Dozier of Common Ground Health says they need to increase participation in African American, Latino and rural communities and young adults between 18 and 24 years old.

Dozier: "There's been a lot of mixed messages when it comes to communicating particularly with black and brown people. So I think we need to focus more on getting messages out to those communities."

Dozier says to watch for a new marketing campaign targeting those demographics started next week. 


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