Toronto – Today, Toronto Public Health (TPH) will launch a retrospective case-control study to identify exposure settings and activities that are associated with significantly increased risk of becoming infected with COVID-19 in Toronto. This study will include a focus on residents who recently tested negative for COVID-19 – a new approach for public health units in Canada – and will focus on issues like work environments, living arrangements and other activities including social gatherings or visits to public spaces.
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. To make this comparison, the survey will collect information from residents who recently tested negative for COVID-19.
People who tested negative will receive an automated text message from 1-833-929-2338 with a link to complete the survey. The survey will include confidential and voluntary questions about an individual’s activities in the days before the COVID-19 test, the same questions about daily activities that are asked of people who test positive. Questions will focus on an individual’s living arrangements, their work environments and other activities including social gatherings or visits to public spaces. Results will help identify settings and activities that are associated with increased risk of acquiring COVID-19 infections.
The survey takes approximately 10 to 15 minutes to complete and participants are asked to complete the survey no later than three days after receiving it.
All survey responses will be kept confidential and only summary level data will be reported to protect privacy. More information about the survey is available online.
“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. 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.” – Mayor John Tory