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This Version Posted: October 25, 2021

Area Residents Can Take Part in Online Survey to Share How Pandemic Has Affected Them

The local health unit wants to hear directly from residents about how COVID-19 has impacted their lives.

The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit is now conducting a survey in which individuals are being asked to share how COVID-19 has affected their physical, social, mental and financial health. The survey also asks respondents about their actions and attitudes towards pandemic measures, including vaccination, mask use, physical distancing and more.

Survey results will be used by the Health Unit and other organizations to more effectively respond to the current and lasting effects of COVID-19 in the area. This includes developing evidence-based services and programs that support public health.

The COVID-19 survey is open to residents 18 years of age and older in Haliburton County, Northumberland County and the City of Kawartha Lakes. People can take part in the survey by clicking on the ‘Tell Us How COVID-19 Has Affected You’ link available on the local Health Unit’s website (www.hkpr.on.ca).

“We know the pandemic has affected individuals and families in our communities,” says Andrew Harris, an Epidemiologist with the HKPR District Health Unit. “This survey is intended to dig deeper into COVID’s impact locally, and that’s why we urge everyone to share their thoughts.”

The Health Unit’s survey is confidential, anonymous, takes approximately 15 minutes to complete, and can be accessed until mid-December. Survey questions probe: COVID-19’s impact on people, (mental health, stress, economic disruption, etc.), actions to protect against the virus (mask use, handwashing, physical distancing, vaccination, etc.), attitudes towards public health restrictions/responses, and more.

If the COVID-19 survey sounds familiar, it should be. The Health Unit also conducted a similar COVID-19 survey of residents this time last year. In that survey, the Health Unit received nearly 2,000 responses. The 2021 survey’s question on vaccine is updated slightly to reflect current availability, but the rest of the survey remains the same as in 2020. This means it will serve as a good year-over-year comparison, Harris says.

“As the pandemic progresses, these surveys help to show us how people’s attitudes and actions have evolved over time,” he says.

Gathering information through public surveys is not new for the Health Unit. For almost two decades, the Health Unit has been participating in the Rapid Risk Factor Surveillance (RRFSS) survey conducted on its behalf by the Institute for Social Research at York University. HKPR uses the local RRFSS results to plan programs and improve its services. The COVID-19 online survey is part of RRFSS.