LOS ANGELES – In hopes of better tracking the impact of the coronavirus in specific communities, the county Department of Public Health Tuesday announced a voluntary text-message-based survey that will send weekly health inquiries to participants.
The survey is billed as a confidential outreach effort open to any resident willing to participate.
In a statement, public health director Barbara Ferrer called it “an easy way for people to get involved in helping us slow the spread of COVID-19, especially as LA County moves further into the re-opening phases.”
“Residents who participate will receive a short, weekly text survey asking if they are experiencing symptoms,” Ferrer said. “The survey can be completed in under five minutes. The data collected from the confidential survey will help us see trends at the community level, which will allow us to better allocate resources to highly impacted communities.”
Any county resident over age 18 can sign up for the survey by texting @PROTECT to 35134. Participants will be asked five enrollment questions — ZIP code, age range, gender, race/ ethnicity and cell phone number.
Once enrolled, participants will receive a weekly text message asking how they are physically feeling. Residents who report feeling ill will be asked follow-up questions.
The survey is expected to last about 20 weeks.
Health officials said the survey data will be kept confidential and only summary information about responses will be released, without any individual participants being identified.