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Supplies in need

Lack of access to necessities is area residents’ top concern

Local residents visit Riesbeck’s grocery store in St. Clairsville to purchase provisions Monday afternoon.

CADIZ — Access to groceries, food or supplies, is the biggest concern among local residents during the coronavirus outbreak, according to a survey conducted by a local health department.

The Harrison County Health Department began asking local residents for their input via a survey on the department’s Facebook account Friday afternoon.

Administrator Garen Rhome said the department is looking for local residents’ input regarding concerns pertaining to the novel coronavirus pandemic. He said the survey is a great way of reaching out to residents.

“It’s a really good way to see how our Harrison County residents are interacting with the orders and recommendations,” he said.

Rhome said the goal of the survey is to determine how people are dealing with the virus in their daily lives.

Harrison County Health Department Administrator Garen Rhome said the department is asking residents to participate in an online survey to help officials gauge local response regarding the coronavirus.

“The goal is to see what is the best way to reach our Harrison County residents and also how they are dealing with daily life,” he said.

The survey was the most ideal way of finding out how residents are feeling, what they are thinking and what their major concerns are pertaining to the virus, he said.

“We know the quickly changing orders and guidance can be confusing and even frustrating sometimes.

“We want to know what life is like for residents trying to observe the orders and do their part in slowing the spread of COVID-19,” he said.

Although nearly 50 people have currently responded to the online survey, the department is hoping for additional participants in the days that follow. The survey is conducted through Surveymonkey and can be found on the health department’s Facebook page.

The seven-question survey is completely anonymous and can be found on the department’s Facebook page.

The online survey consists of seven questions, including:

What is your day-to-day status?

Even if you are staying home, does someone you live with still go to work every day?

Are you able to get day-to-day needs?

How well does the health department succeed in keeping you informed about COVID-19?

What is your primary source for updates about what is happening?

What day-to-day needs are most concerning to you or your loved ones?

The survey is completely anonymous, identifying participants only by what township they reside in. Each question is followed with a variety of multiple choice answers that can be selected.

“The questions are based around seeing what our residents’ concerns are. What are their worries concerning access to goods and services?

Also, there are questions that help us understand the best way to reach our residents with messaging — how many folks get their COVID-19 updates from our Facebook page, from newspapers, (or) local TV,” he said.

As of Monday, local residents’ main concern during the pandemic is having access to groceries including food and supplies, Rhome said.

“It’s by far the largest respondent,” he said.

This not only includes food items but also everyday supply items like soap, paper towels and toilet paper.

Additionally, people are concerned with access to pharmacies and social needs.

People are concerned with lack of interaction with fellow human beings, he said.

Rhome said residents are least concerned with access to prepared foods — delivery and takeout services.

Dozens of local eateries have kept their drive-thru windows open and continue to serve hungry residents through takeout and delivery services amid the restrictions implemented by Gov. Mike DeWine and the state’s health department.

Rhome said that everyone who participated in the survey thus far said they feel comfortable with day-to-day needs being met.

All Harrison County residents are invited to participate in the anonymous survey. For more information or to take the survey, visit the Harrison County Health Department’s Facebook page online.

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