Survey reveals Kansans concern over covid-19 economic damage

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- A recent survey reveals Kansans are more concerned about the economic damage caused by COVID-19, rather than the health risks.

The Kansas Chamber is behind the survey, which shows Kansans are ready to reopen the state's economy and get back to work.

Kansas Chamber President and CEO, Alan Cobb said, "It tells me they think that state and local government have too tight of restrictions.”

500 Kansans were surveyed and Cobb said, “54% thought the economic damage was a bigger risk than the health risk. I think it’s the reality of people’s paychecks, ability to pay mortgages, ability to pay rent and to pay car payments.”

It also revealed 77% of Kansans are fine with looser restrictions on businesses.

Aaron Wortman from Wichita said, “I just want to get this behind us as fast as possible and just start moving forward," said

Cobb added, "They want to get back to as much normal as they can and I think people enjoy working and they enjoy providing for their families and for themselves.”

However it found signs of hesitation. 22% said it would be at least three months before they'd eat at a restaurant, compared to 43% who said they would in the next month.

When it comes to sporting events, only 29% said they'd attend within the next month, while 40% would rather wait three.

Cobb said, “The public still has some concerns about the health.”

Still, Kansans say they want to be able to make their own decisions.

“I think there’s a lot of ways we can do things a little differently where we can still provide that level of safety to the people that need it," said Topekan, Randy Wellnitz.

David Hausmann out of Atchison added, “We need to use common sense, use social distancing and wear masks where it's appropriate.”

Cobb said that's why they've shared the survey results with Kansas lawmakers.

“We've gotten it to the policy makers and to the governor's office, so that they know that they are in the right to loosen things up," he continued saying, "Hopefully, it also sets a bedrock for not doing this again, maybe in the same way, in the future.”

Cobb said the Chamber welcomed Governor Laura Kelly's announcement to move the state into Phase II come Friday.

He also said they will continue to advocate for businesses still restricted from fully reopening.