During the first week in which entire business sectors were shut down for the time being, and others were significantly limited in their hours and abilities — all in response to the COVID-19 pandemic — nearly 40% of New Jersey adults said they are concerned about meeting their basic financial needs, according to a survey conducted by Kearny Bank.

The Fairfield-based bank plans to interview residents weekly and update survey results every Thursday, as fallout from the novel coronavirus ramps up and later (hopefully) calms down.

When asked the question, "Given coronavirus-related restrictions and closures, are you concerned about meeting your basic financial needs?" 39.4% of New Jerseyans, aged 18 or older, said, "Yes, I'm concerned."

"I have a feeling going forward people are going to be more and more concerned as we see and experience more shutdowns and more people staying at home," Eric Kesselman, 1st Vice President/Director of Marketing, told New Jersey 101.5.

In the survey, conducted between March 17 and March 19, 27.2% of New Jerseyans said they're not yet sure if they're concerned, and 33.5% said they are not concerned about affording their basic financial needs, such as grocery shopping and monthly bills.

"It's going to be interesting to monitor this week by week," Kesselman said.

Kesselman said this weekly survey may also help determine when "concern turns" and fears of COVID-19's spread have been replaced with getting typical New Jersey life back in order.

Only two age groups — 18-to-24-year-olds, and the 65+ population — indicated lack of concern more frequently than they did concern.

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Contact reporter Dino Flammia at dino.flammia@townsquaremedia.com.

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