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Most Arizona households hurt financially by COVID-19, poll says

(AP Photo/Matt York)

PHOENIX — As the economic toll from the coronavirus pandemic continues to mount, a new poll found that many Arizonans have been hurt financially and the impact fell more heavily on those with lower incomes.

Fifty-seven percent of Arizonans say the coronavirus has had a negative economic impact on their household, according to an ASU Morrison Institute-Arizona Republic poll released Thursday.

The poll also shows 67% of Arizonans have reduced their spending since the coronavirus pandemic started and 40% said they are struggling financially.

When broken down by income, 52% of Arizonans making less than $50,000 a year have been furloughed or have lost their jobs during the pandemic, compared with 9% of Arizonans making more than $100,000 a year.

“Because we are experiencing such a massive upheaval in the way we live, we knew we had to ask people in this moment about how they are coping and adjusting,” stated ASU Morrison Institute for Public Policy Director Andrea Whitsett.

The poll also covered a wide range of topics including, satisfaction with the government’s response to the crisis. It found only 35% of Arizonans think the state government’s COVID-19 response has been “good” or “excellent.”

The response by K-12 school administers got the highest positive rating, with 42% of Arizonans saying the way they responded to the pandemic was “good” or “excellent.”

The web-based poll was conducted in late April and early May, a few weeks after Gov. Dough Ducey and Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman ordered schools to close as a way to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

As a result, many schools turned to online learning.

“The poll results highlighted that COVID-19 may have lasting impacts for poorer families, as they were less likely to say that their children had access to needed technology for online learning,” said Erica Quintana, policy analyst for the Morrison Institute.

She noted that in contrast, parents in higher income brackets are more likely to be concerned about their children falling behind in school and not graduating high school.

When broken down by race and ethnicity, black, Latino and Native American parents worried most about their kids falling behind in school, compared with white and Asian parents.

Similarly, Hispanic and American Indian parents worried most about their children’s likelihood of graduating high school because of the disruption caused by COVID-19.

More than 800 Arizonans were surveyed for the poll, which had a +/- 3% margin of error.

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