nextLI Survey: COVID-19’s Impact on Long Island

AUGUST 2020 – After the coronavirus pandemic hit this past spring, Long Islanders emerged from quarantine with changed perspectives to a very different place.

nextLI, an initiative by Newsday funded by a grant the Rauch Foundation, polled residents to find out how they felt the public health crisis was handled at its height here, their ongoing health and financial concerns and questioned how the pandemic may have a permanent impact on many facets of their lives as well as the region’s future.

The results were revealed and discussed in four virtual events. Watch the events here:

The survey, conducted by the global public opinion company YouGov on behalf of nextLI, surveyed a total of 1,043 Long Islanders – 552 Suffolk County residents and 491 Nassau County residents – between June 22 and July 1, 2020. Weights were applied to reflect the demographic makeup of Suffolk and Nassau Counties at large. The margin of sampling error for the full sample of respondents is +/- three percentage points.

Among the results, three-in-four are “worried” that the COVID-19 outbreak will have overall, long-lasting, negative impacts on Long Island. Other key findings include:

Health –

  • When a vaccine becomes available, 53% say they will receive it, 16% won’t and 31% aren’t sure.
  • 97% report currently wearing a mask in public.
  • 72% haven’t had a coronavirus test or the coronavirus antibody test.

Economy –

  • 72% have a greater appreciation and understanding of the supply chains of where we get our products.
  • Nearly a third of Long Islanders say their life situation has worsened because of the pandemic, and more than half worry their finances will be negatively affected.
  • 41% won’t go to concerts, sporting and other events until one year from now and 37% won’t be comfortable to dine indoors for at least the next 6 months.

Education –

  • Nearly half think there needs to be more investment in technology devices for students.
  • More than four-in-ten parents say they are more engaged in their children’s schooling as a result of the COVID-19 distance learning experience and they have a better understanding of teacher’s roles.
  • Most parents want increased sanitation and hand-washing before their kids go back to school, less supportive of splitting the student body in some way to facilitate social distancing.

Explore the full results and share how COVID-19 impacted your life and perspective below.