Blood is drawn for medical testing. (Flickr)

260,000 B.C. residents take COVID-19 risk survey in first week

More people outside big cities needed, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

B.C.’s online survey on people’s COVID-19 risk and exposure has more than 260,000 participants in the first week, and public health experts are examining the results for clues about how it affects different groups of people.

The anonymous survey is designed to measure how people have changed their habits due to the coronavirus pandemic, whether they have been exposed and how their age, ethnicity and place of residence may affect the spread of the virus in B.C. The survey, run by the B.C. Centre for Disease Control, continues until May 31.

“We still would like to hear from more, particularly from more seniors, from people outside our major urban centres and people from different cultural backgrounds around the province,” provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said in her COVID-19 daily briefing May 18.

There are also questions about exercise, sleep, food and alcohol consumption, chronic health conditions, disabilities, smoking and perceived changes in anxiety, depression or irritability since the pandemic began.

Henry said she has been asked why the survey includes age, sex, education level, income, and ethnicity.

“Unless you look at it from that perspective, you don’t know if there’s something we are missing about who is being affected, either in a positive or negative way, both by the virus and by the effects of the restrictions that have been put in place, so it is really important,” Henry said. “We know that there are associations between poverty and health. There are associations between certain ethnicity and racial groups that have had impacts on people’s health.”

RELATED: B.C. begins COVID-19 survey, with option for antibody test

RELATED: Health Canada approves test for coronavirus antibodies

Despite the notice on the BCCDC survey page that the website is not secure, the actual survey is run on a University of B.C. database designed for gathering confidential medical information for public health.

Any B.C. resident aged 18 or older can take the COVID-19 survey, with the option of doing so anonymously or providing a B.C. medical ID number confidentially for follow-up and possible antibody testing. It takes about 15 minutes to complete.

The survey ends with an option to join the COVID-19 Community Immunity Assessment by providing a blood sample to labs testing for the virus, which are adding antibody testing now that a test has been approved by Health Canada.

Participants can also sign up for the COVID-19 Early Warning Network, allowing them to notify public health officials of symptoms they experience, to more quickly identify regions of B.C. where public health measures can be taken to control future waves of infection.

The survey can also be taken over the phone between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., seven days a week, at 1-833-707-1900. Interpreting services for languages other than English are available, and the website has language guides in traditional Chinese, Vietnamese, Spanish, Arabic, Korean, Farsi, French and Punjabi.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureCoronavirus

Just Posted

Radium author launches book

Radium Hot Springs author Brent Lea launches thriller set in the great outdoors of southeastern B.C.

Helping our community during COVID-19

A high school student’s perspective

The buoys are back in town

Watershed Wanderings column by Lake Windermere Ambassadors

Invermere council okay with ‘reverse grad march’ idea

Nothing finalized and complications aplenty, but Invermere council agrees to grad march idea

101-year-old man targets 101 block fundraising walk for food bank

A centenarian in Invermere has embarked on a new adventure to raise money for the food bank.

VIDEO: Injured bald eagle rescued in B.C. First Nations community

Bird suspected injured in fight, whisked off to Coquitlam rehab

UPDATE: B.C.’s Central Kootenay issues evacuation orders for hundreds of residents due to flooding

An evacuation alert covers all areas except the Cities of Castelgar and Nelson

PHOTOS: Thousands gather at Vancouver Art Gallery to protest racism

Rally is in response to the deaths of black Americans and a Toronto woman

Number of students returning is a wild card as B.C. schools reopen Monday

A common model will see other teachers work four days a week in class then the fifth remotely,

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

Toronto Raptors’ Ujiri says conversations about racism can no longer be avoided

Thousands have protested Floyd’s death and repeated police killings of black men across the United States

‘I’m afraid’: Witnesses of wolf attack on senior near Prince Rupert worried about safety

Frank Russ shows where the unprovoked wolf attacked his father

Protesters rally against anti-black, Indigenous racism in Toronto

Police estimated the crowd to be between 3,500 and 4,000 and said there was no violence

Most Read