Analysis of COVID-19 Tweets by Organizations and Stakeholders in South Atlanta, Georgia Público

Ziworitin-Ogola, Christiana (Summer 2022)

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Background: COVID-19 has seriously impacted low-income communities and members of the Black, Indigenous, and People of color (BIPOC) communities in the US. South Atlanta has a predominantly Black population, and clinical testing and vaccine uptake have been particularly low since the beginning of the pandemic. The popularity of wastewater-based surveillance for detecting and monitoring the trends of COVID-19 and the wastewater surveillance research being done by the Center for Global Safe Water, Sanitation and Hygiene at Emory University, have given rise to the need to identify the most effective social media communication strategies to disseminate COVID-19 wastewater information to the communities affected.

Objectives: To understand and evaluate the different types of COVID-19 messaging stakeholders and organizations disseminate via social media and to identify effective strategies for communicating and disseminating information about COVID-19.

Methods: Twitter analytics and qualitative content analysis were conducted on data from the tweets of 73 Twitter accounts of organizations and other stakeholders serving South Atlanta communities from January 1 to May 31, 2022, to determine the function of tweets, the risk communication strategies used in tweets and the engagement the tweets had with the public.

Results: 1026 COVID-related tweets from 38 accounts were analyzed. 70% were tweets from the news media category. Content analysis showed that information was the most common message function, and risk and efficacy were the most common risk communication strategy. Neither content nor use of engagement strategies seemed to influence engagement. Tweets by the Atlanta Public Schools had the most engagement from the public.

Table of Contents


1.1.     Rationale. 1

1.1.1.      COVID-19 Pandemic. 1

1.1.2.      Wastewater Surveillance for SARS-CoV-2. 2

1.1.3.      Social Media and the COVID-19 Pandemic. 3

1.2.     Problem Statement 4

1.3.     Purpose statement 5

1.4.     Objectives. 5

1.5.     Significance Statement 6


2.1.     Introduction. 7

2.2.     Wastewater surveillance. 7

2.3.     Public Health Communication Strategies. 8

2.4.     Social Media. 10

2.4.1.      Social Media Use. 10

2.4.2.      Organizations, elected officials, and Social Media Use. 11

2.4.3.      Twitter Engagement Strategies 11

3.     METHODOLOGY.. 14

3.1.     Introduction. 14

3.2.     Study Population / Sample. 14

3.3.     Research Design. 14

3.4.     Procedures. 14

3.4.1.      Method of Selecting Sample Population. 14

3.4.2.      Criteria. 15

3.4.3.      Data collection method. 15

3.5.     Data analyses. 16

3.6.     Ethical considerations. 18

3.7.     Limitations. 18

4.     RESULTS. 19

4.1.     Tweets by Account Category. 19

4.2.     Tweet Content Analysis. 21

4.3.     Twitter Engagement 24

5.     DISCUSSION.. 31


7.     CONCLUSION.. 35



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