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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

West Kootenay SAR crews rescue injured mountain biker near Rossland

Crews were called in to help after the biker seriously injured himself at around noon Saturday

Nelson teachers union president worried about members ahead of return to classes

Carla Wilson says there are a lot of questions remaining

Pop-up drive-in theatre shows Only in Nelson

The event was a collaboration between the Civic Theatre and Kootenay Co-op Radio

Suspected fentanyl and cocaine seized during RCMP search in Castlegar

Two men were taken into police custody during the search warrant

Morning start: This is the fastest growing city in the Kootenays

Here is your Kootenays’ morning start for Monday, May 25

Help the Nelson Star continue its mission to provide trusted local news

Black Press is now accepting donations to keep its papers operating

Kelowna man charged with harming a hamster

The 20-year-old Kelowna man faces several animal cruelty charges

High tech fish transport system set up to ‘whoosh’ salmon past Big Bar landslide

Fish will spend roughly 20 seconds inside the system, moving at roughly 20 metres per second

Trudeau to seek 10 days of paid sick leave for Canadian workers, says talks are ongoing

Paid sick leave is key to keeping COVID-19 spread under control, prime minister says

Snowbirds jets will not be leaving Kamloops, just yet

The Snowbirds have been in Kamloops since May 17 when a plane crashed killing Capt. Jennifer Casey

COVID-19 checkpoints ‘up to them,’ Bonnie Henry says of remote B.C. villages

Support local tourism economy, but only if you’re invited in

Vancouver Island hasn’t seen a new homegrown case of COVID-19 in two weeks

Island’s low and steady transmission rate chalked up to several factors

Eight people arrested in Victoria homeless camp after enforcement order issued

Those living in tents were given until May 20 to move indoors

Most Read