Toronto Public Health is launching a new study that focuses on the activities of people who recently tested negative for COVID-19.
The study, which the city described as a “new approach for public health units in Canada,” will investigate the work environments, living arrangements, and other activities of those who tested negative for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
“Findings will compare the activities of people who test positive versus those who test negative to help understand how people may have acquired their infection and inform public health actions to help reduce virus spread,” the city said in a news release issued Thursday.
Those who recently tested negative will receive an automated text from Toronto Public Health to complete a series of survey questions, which the city says are confidential and voluntary.
Participants will be asked about their activities in the days prior to their COVID-19 test, the same questions that are posed to those who test positive.
“Results will help identify settings and activities that are associated with increased risk of acquiring COVID-19 infections,” the news release read.
Those who take part in the survey, which takes approximately 10 to 15 minutes to complete, are asked to submit it no later than three days after receiving it.
“This is one more example of the work Toronto Public Health is doing to help combat COVID-19 in our community. I encourage residents who are contacted by the survey to take part and help our medical health professionals protect our city,” Mayor John Tory said in a written statement.
“I continue to urge all residents to remain vigilant and follow the public health guidelines. Stay home as much as possible, wear a mask when you go outside, distance yourself from others and stick with your household.”
Dr. Eileen de Villa, the city’s medical officer of health, said Toronto Public Health will report its findings to the public at a later date.