Home Health COVID-19 Last day to participate in BC COVID-19 survey: closes at midnight May...

Last day to participate in BC COVID-19 survey: closes at midnight May 31

About 340,000 people have participated so far.

Sunday May 31, 2020 ~ VICTORIA, BC

by Mary Brooke, B.Sc. ~ West Shore Voice News

The BC Government’s public health survey seeking input from individual British Columbians on their experience with COVID-19 as a disease and a pandemic with socioeconomic impacts has been active since May 12.

As of May 30 — with one day left for participation — the “Your Story, Our Future” survey had culled responses from 340,000 British Columbians.
That’s about 6.8% of the total 5 million BC population, or about 11.3% of the adult population.

Dr Bonnie Henry, May 28 2020
BC Provincial Health Officer Dr Bonnie Henry during her livestreamed media session on May 28, 2020.

After 10 days the survey on the BC Centre for Disease Control site had garnered 275,000 responses. Before that, there was excitement about 75,000 on day one and 165,000 after just two days).

Even yesterday May 30, Provincial Health Officer Dr Bonnie Henry was still reminding people to hustle their friends and family to also participate in the “Your story, our future” survey which ask a lot of personal detail (though they say all questions are optional).

Both Health Minister Adrian Dix and Dr Henry have mentioned the survey in their media briefings, most days. They look forward to what they and BC CDC will learn from the outreach.

Where to find the survey:

BC COVID-19 Survey
BC COVID-19 Survey was launched May 12 and remains open to May 31, 2020

The online survey on the BC Centre for Disease Control website at
http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/covid-19-survey is open to midnight tonight, May 31, 2020.

It takes about 10 to 15 minutes to complete, depending on how many questions you answer and whether you add comments.

Timing of the survey:

May 2020
The BC CDC survey about COVID-19 has been conducted during the last half of May 2020.

The survey was launched on May 12 just ahead of opening up some sectors of the economy. Some provincial parks opened for day use on May 14, and Phase 2 of the Restart BC economic recovery program started after the May Long Weekend on May 19 through to present.

The survey closes just ahead of schools re-opening to all students on Monday June 1. That creates a significant shift in community interactivity: teachers, parents, students, bus drivers, and many others will be circulating in the community for the first time since mid-March when spring break began. After the March 14-29 spring break, then there was a phase that some teachers are calling ‘the second September’ (revising curriculum for delivery primarily online). June 1 marks the ‘third September’ in the 2019-2020 academic year in BC.

That 19-day period of input provides a snapshot of ‘where we’ve been’ during the pandemic response, before the province really gets going in some of of new normal.

Still hoping for widest possible participation:

What is still sought in the way of participation that will satisfy the data-driven goals of the BC Centre for Disease Control and the Public Health Officer’s team?

In response to a query from West Shore Voice News, on May 22 the Ministry of Health provided some demographic details about the survey responses so far:

  • Across the province more work is underway to further reach rural communities were we have reached 83% of the target including exploring advertisements in local newspapers and radio channels.
  • First Nations Health Authority and other regional partners are working to promote among Indigenous population living in community.
  • Additional outreach to seniors age 75 years and older is particularly important, with messaging to those who have completed the survey to help those in their lives complete the survey who may need it. We can also further promote the call line to help assist as well.
  • We are continuing to see fewer responses among the lower income and lower education groups. 
  • While we have responses from across all ethnic groups, some visible minorities have much lower response than desired target:
    • Those of African or Caribbean background
    • Those of Korean background
    • Those of Southeast Asian background (e.g. Vietnamese, Cambodian, Malaysian, Indonesian, Thailand, Laotian)

The matter of privacy:

Tracking your smartphone is easily done in the data-driven age.

There is the issue of privacy by completing the survey. It asks for age, gender, health conditions you may already have, and a whole lot more. Not that our data-driven, smartphone-carrying society has much choice anymore.

Already Dr Henry has revealed that smartphone GPS was tracked through Google to determine the movement of British Columbians during spring break (during the initial most intense self-isolation phase of the pandemic), and this week casually mentioned how credit card and loyalty-point card usage can be retrieved by public health officials in the interest of COVID-19 management.

Signing up for the serological study:

serological testing
Drawing blood as part of serological testing for COVID-19 [web]

The survey offers the opportunity to sign up for a serological study, to see if you and others have already achieved some immunity to the COVID-19 virus. To do that, you have to provided your Personal Health Number (PHN).

In terms of privacy, it’s a healthy sign if you think twice before providing your PHN and all your current health profile online. Though in terms of your long-term health, it might be good to take part in the serological study, to perhaps find out if you’re one of the many British Columbians who have probably already been infected and didn’t know it (either you were asymptomatic or you thought it was a cold or the flu).