Key Messages & FAQ
What is the COVID-19 St. Louis County Survey?
It is not fully known how many county residents may be infected with COVID-19 or how the virus has affected the health and well-being of residents. The St. Louis County Department of Public Health has contracted with Washington University to complete the COVID-19 St. Louis County Survey to better assess the impact of COVID-19 on about 5,000 randomly selected St. Louis County residents. Survey participants, regardless of whether they show symptoms, will be offered a free COVID-19 test. Gift cards will be provided in appreciation for taking the survey and being tested for the virus. Data collected from the survey and testing will help inform local health officials’ responses to the current pandemic and possible future epidemics.
Who will be making the survey calls?
Washington University has contracted with experienced call center representatives from the University of Missouri to conduct the survey.
What kind of survey questions will be asked?
Survey questions include general demographic questions about age, gender and race, and health-related questions such as whether the participant has been diagnosed with diabetes or cancer. A free COVID-19 test will be offered at a nearby testing site.
What if I don’t have any symptoms; do I have to take a COVID-19 test?
No one is obligated to be tested; however, committing to testing along with answering the survey questions will provide important information for the project and could help save lives during this pandemic and in the event of a future pandemic. Health-care and public health leaders will use the survey and testing data to help make important decisions to keep our community safe and minimize deaths due to the COVID-19 pandemic and future virus threats.
Where will tests take place?
COVID-19 testing will be administered by trained health-care staff at established local testing sites. There are several public testing sites already in place in St. Louis County. During the call, survey administrators will assist each participant with making an appointment at a testing site nearest him or her. If needed, transportation will be provided.
What kind of tests will be administered?
COVID-19 St. Louis County Survey participants will be offered one of two tests: a nasal swab to determine if a participant has COVID-19, or a blood draw to test for antibodies found in people who may have had the virus. Antibodies are proteins that our bodies make to fight infection.
What if I test positive for COVID-19?
COVID-19 St. Louis County Survey participants who test positive from the nasal swab test will be given a thermometer, a pulse oximeter (which monitors the amount of oxygen in the blood) and personal protective equipment (PPE), including a mask. If participants need additional support, the survey team will help them find resources, and a qualified health-care professional will follow up with home monitoring phone calls for 14 days. St. Louis County Department of Public Health representatives also will follow up with individuals regarding their test results, to begin the contact-tracing process. During this process, the department gathers information about the individual’s potential source of exposure, any progression of symptoms, and interaction with other people (contacts) since contracting the illness.
Will test results be made public?
No. A summary of the survey project will be released; however, no information will be connected to a participant’s personal information.
How will results of the survey and testing be used?
The St. Louis County Department of Public Health will use the survey and testing results to help inform future decisions about public health and health-care services delivery in this pandemic and in the event of future outbreaks. This information will help determine: the proportion of residents who have had the virus compared with how many have been tested; how the virus has affected residents’ health and well-being; how best to address disparities between racial groups as they pertain to COVID-19; which risk factors are most commonly associated with COVID-19 or similar communicable viruses; and preventive and/or mitigation measures regarding the virus.
What is the amount of the gift cards?
There are three different Visa gift cards that will be offered as a thank you, depending on level of participation. A $10 Visa gift card will be given for participating in the phone survey. A participant will receive an additional $25 Visa card if he or she takes the COVID-19 nasal swab test and an additional $35 Visa card for taking the blood test.
If I have questions, how do I find out more information?