If we want data specific to Gabriola, more islanders need to take the provincial COVID-19 survey

Sounder News

Friday, May 22 2020

Dr. Paul Hasselback, Medical Health Officer for Central Vancouver Island, is asking more Gabriolans to take the province-wide survey on the impacts of COVID-19.

Your story, Our future was launched to gather feedback from British Columbians on their experiences and the actions they have taken so far in the COVID-19 pandemic in B.C.

The survey is open until May 31.

What Dr. Hasselback said on Friday is that so far, not enough people Gabriola, Mudge, and Decourcy islands have answered the survey.

He explained for the sake of the survey, the province has been divided up geographically.

A typical boundary is local health areas - such as Central Vancouver Island.

Within the Nanaimo region, data could be broken further down into smaller community areas - one of which is the combined Gabriola, Mudge, and Decourcy islands.

The boundaries for data are usually set up based on populations of 10,000.

But, as Dr. Hasselback said, “we know Gabriola is special.”

So the 5,000 people of Gabriola, Mudge, and Decourcy were designated as their own data community.

He added, “because there is a smaller population to draw from, we need a higher proportion of people to answer the survey, in order to pull data applicable to our specific area.”

He said the survey itself takes between 15 and 20 minutes to take. Everyone is welcomed to take it, the health officials want to hear from all demographics.

Dr. Hasselback said having the data specific to the three islands would mean knowing the specific impact COVID-19 had in that specific geographic area.

If not enough people fill out the survey, the answers from those who have filled it out will be lumped in with either the entire Nanaimo region, or possibly the three southern Electoral Areas of the Regional District of Nanaimo.

He said Island Health is not sure when that data would get pulled out specific to each community, “but I’m trying to make sure we have the opportunity potentially in the future to get the data when people ask what is happening locally.”

The survey is available online, at www.bccdc.ca/covid19survey

For those who cannot complete the survey online, or need assistance in another language, call 1 833 707-1900 seven days a week between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. (Pacific time) to take the survey over the phone.


From the survey web site:

BC COVID-19 SPEAK: Your story, our future is a population health survey to elicit citizen experience, knowledge and actions during the COVID-19 pandemic. This survey is the first of several activities that will strengthen our pandemic response and our understanding of the impacts of COVID-19 to date (social, economic, mental wellness and community wellness). 
At the end of the survey, takers will be asked about participating in two important initiatives:
  • A serology survey (blood testing) to help determine immunity across the population
  • Planning for future waves in which identifying, containing and tracing are substantially strengthened through technology tools to enable integrated and coordinated information sharing

About the survey

  • The survey is open to all British Columbians 18 years of age and older.
  • The survey takes 10-15 minutes and can be done online on any tablet, computer or mobile device.

Results will be made available in the early summer. If someone agrees to participate in a future phase, they will be contacted directly via email.