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UI survey quizzes Iowa Latinos about the impact of COVID on their lives

IOWA CITY — University of Iowa researchers are sending out surveys to randomly-selected Latino households in nine Iowa counties with significant Latino populations to gauge the long-term impact of COVID-19 on that segment of the population.

Miriam Velez-Bermudez is one of the UI doctoral students leading the study. She says the findings will be sent to organizations throughout the state to help public health responses in the future.

“We can’t address those needs if we’re not able to assess them,” Velez-Bermudez says. “So, this is sort of the first step in knowing what needs there are, so it can inform public health measures moving forward.”

The surveys come with a five-dollar incentive. The researchers hope to have enough data to analyze by early summer.

UI researcher Crystal Garcia says she’s starting to receive feedback and the responses will help the team figure out what effect the virus is having on Latinos in the state.

“We don’t really have a good sense of what those long-term impacts might be,” Garcia says. “We’ve heard food security, mental health, but really quantifying what that looks like.”

Other organizations have tried to find that data in the past, but their efforts hit obstacles. Garcia says with their research, “disappearing is not an option.”

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