A new B.C. survey on the impacts of COVID-19 will guide decision-making by health officials around issues like antibody testing and contact tracing.
Interest so far in Chilliwack seems robust as several posts have been popping up across social media to discuss the survey, and the new serological testing, since both were announced in B.C. on May 12.
The online survey ‘Your Story, Our Future’ is geared to public health surveillance and B.C.’s pandemic response, which officials say will be key in the actions taken in the months to come.
Chilliwack resident Christy Moschopedis said she’d take the survey, and called the virus a “chameleon.”
“I plan to do that today. I feel like if we are able to provide more information to help figure this out, then we should,” she wrote in a Facebook post.
B.C. officials want to understand how the measures taken for COVID-19 have impacted people on several levels, as they get ready to re-open the province.
“The unintended impacts on the social, economic, physical health, mental wellness and resiliency of communities are not well understood,” reads the explanation. “The BC Centre for Disease Control (“BCCDC”), a part of the Provincial Health Services Authority, wants to understand the impacts of COVID-19 for all BC residents, and to plan the approach for future public health measures.”
Several Chilliwackians have also posted about their willingness to get immunity tested by providing a blood sample to officials to see if antibodies are present.
At least one million Canadian blood samples will be collected and tested over the next two years to track the virus in the general population, and in specific groups at risk of having been infected, like health-care workers and seniors.
Serology testing is expected to reveal if someone has been infected in the past, and has developed immunity. It could provide data on those who were infected but asymptomatic.
The survey asks people about general knowledge and perceptions of risk around COVID- 19, and how the current lockdown is affecting health and wellness, and people’s lives in general. It takes 10 to 15 minutes.
“The responses from the survey will be used to inform our plans going forward. Survey participants will have an opportunity to learn about future initiatives they can support,” such getting tested to see if they’ve developed COVID-19 antibodies.
The survey can be done anonymously, or respondents can provide their personal information in order to be contacted in future for COVID-related initiatives, such as serology testing. The survey runs until May 31.
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