Blood is drawn for medical testing. (Flickr)

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

Pamela Evans gazes lovingly at her four-year-old French bulldog Jack on Thursday, Nov. 5. The energetic young pup has regained his usual rambunctiousness after recently recovering from a significant illness brought on by consuming discarded cannabis new Brown’s Beach in Ucluelet. (Andrew Bailey photo)
Discarded cannabis a “frequent” threat to pets in Tofino-Ucluelet

“I couldn’t grab him fast enough to get it out of his mouth before he swallowed it.”

The School District 70 administration office in Port Alberni. AV NEWS FILE PHOTO
Four Alberni schools reporting COVID-19 exposures

Exposures occurred between Nov. 19 and Nov. 25 depending on the school

A lightning strike destroyed a radio repeater on Porter Mountain, shutting down the Ministry of Transportation and infrastructure’s highway cam at Sutton Pass. (BC Transportation and Infrastructure photo)
Lightning strike shuts down camera on Tofino-Ucluelet highway

“One of our radio repeater sites was recently struck by lightning.”

The Ahousaht First Nation confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on Nov. 26, 2020. (Westerly file photo)
Ahousaht First Nation on lockdown over COVID-19

“Emotions are high. The anxiety is high. We want our community to pull through.”

A tongue-in-cheek message about wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 on a sign outside a church near Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection count climbs back up to 656

20 more people in hospital, active cases still rising

The Walking Curriculum gets students outside and connecting with nature. (Amanda Peterson/Special to S.F. Examiner)
‘Walking Curriculum’ crafted by SFU professor surges in popularity

The outdoor curriculum encourages students to connect with the natural world

Dave Wallace coached the Parksville Royals for 23 years. (PQB News file photo)
B.C. baseball community mourns death of legendary Vancouver Island coach Dave Wallace

‘All who knew Dave and his passion for the game will miss him greatly’

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C. researchers launch study to test kids, young adults for COVID-19 antibodies

Kids and youth can often be asymptomatic carriers of the novel coronavirus

A sign is seen this past summer outside the Yunesit’in Government office west of Williams Lake reminding visitors and members to stay safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
B.C. First Nation leaders await privacy commissioner decision on COVID-19 information

Release of life-saving data cannot wait, says coalition of First Nations

MLA Jennifer Whiteside is B.C.’s new minister of education. She is speaking out against Chilliwack school trustee Barry Neufeld and asking him to resign. (Black Press)
New education minister calls on Chilliwack trustee to resign

Whiteside echoes former minister’s promise to look at options to remove Barry Neufeld

Peter Beckett. ~ File photo
Supreme Court of Canada to decide if it will hear appeal in 2010 wife murder trial

Peter Beckett has stood trial twice for murder in connection with the death of his wife, Laura Letts-Beckett

Most Read