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COVID-19: Results released for first ‘FlashVote’ survey in Citrus Heights

A screenshot from a recent city survey shows responses to a question about concerns residents have during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sentinel staff report–
Results are in for the city’s first-ever “FlashVote” survey, which polled residents on the topic of COVID-19 and received nearly 400 responses within a 48-hour time-frame.

The short, five-question survey asked how the pandemic personally affected each respondent, inquired about changes in local and online shopping behavior, and asked what kind of activities the city should sponsor during the pandemic. The survey concluded with an open-ended question for respondents to provide comment or concerns about local COVID-19 response and recovery.

Answers have been posted online in an easily accessible format, with customized filters able to show how responses varied by age, gender and other criteria.

A majority of respondents (63%) in all age groups said they believe “the economy will get worse because of ongoing state and county restrictions on businesses opening.” A lesser majority (52%) also said “the outbreak will get worse because things are opening too quickly or people aren’t adhering to the health order,” although younger age groups were less likely to say so.

Respondents over age 60 were also more likely to say “not seeing my friends/family as often” as one of the top concerns with COVID-19 restrictions. Concerns about personal financial health were low among both men and women, with only 18% selecting concerns about income or paying bills as one of their top five concerns.

Roughly half of respondents said they would like to see the city help support outdoor events like drive-in movies, while one-quarter of respondents said they did not want city resources spent on such activities.

View full responses: click here

Nichole Baxter, a city manager’s office spokeswoman, told The Sentinel in an email Saturday that the number of signups for the new FlashVote platform exceeded the city’s goal of receiving 400 signups by the time the first survey was launched on Aug. 26. A total of 514 people initially signed up, with 370 of those opting to participate in the first survey.

Baxter called the responses “invaluable” and said the city launched the survey to find out how best to support residents during the pandemic. She said the city has “a few action items (that) are in preliminary planning already.” She also said the city would like to continue to asking about online shopping behavior in future surveys to see how responses may change as restrictions are loosened.

“We will continue to promote the platform and use FlashVote as a tool for community engagement,” said Baxter. “It’s more important than ever that we connect with our residents, and we are extremely focused on listening and responding to what our community wants.”

The city is planning to release a survey every other month, with the next one planned to be released in October.

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