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Text-based survey to research COVID-19 symptoms countywide

Confidential texting to help understand new confirmed cases

OW Staff Writer | 8/6/2020, midnight

The Los County Department of Public Health (Public Health) announces Angelenos in Action, a text-based survey to monitor COVID-19 symptoms across LA County aimed at capturing potential spikes and trends in real-time to assist Public Health workers appropriately allocate resources to affected communities.

Adults (18 years and older) living in Los Angeles County, who have access to a cell phone, and can send and receive text messages, can volunteer for the survey. Enroll by visiting the Public Health website or by text @PROTECT to 35134. Currently the survey is available in English and Spanish.

The survey is confidential, consists of five questions, should take less than a minute to complete, and helps Public Health understand the spread of COVID-19 and how to better support community residents.

“To the families who are grieving a loved one lost to COVID-19, I offer my sincere condolences,” said Dr. Barbara Ferrer, director of Public Health. “We are anxious to make sure that there are innovative strategies for partnering with residents to slow the spread.

“Texting is such an easy way of communicating with people, especially our younger residents, so we’re pleased to have Angelenos in Action, an innovative disease surveillance program in place, Ferrer said. “We need everyone to help us protect our community and save lives. The main way to do that is to adhere to public health directives - avoid gathering with people that you don’t live with, wear a face covering, maintain physical distance, and wash hands often.”

When people gather with people outside of their household it increases the risk of COVID-19 spread. All events and gatherings, unless specifically allowed by Health Officer Orders remain prohibited. The more an individual interacts with others at a gathering and the longer that interaction lasts, the higher the potential risk of becoming infected with COVID-19 and for COVID-19 spreading. The higher the level of community transmission in the area that the gathering is being held, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spreading during a gathering. 

The State Public Health Officer created an exception to the prohibition against gatherings for faith-based services and cultural ceremonies as well as protests. Churches and protests can only operate outdoors, which is safer than indoors, with protocols in place including physical distancing between non-household members and wearing face coverings. It is important that worship services happen outside.

Residents are encouraged to report suspected outbreaks and notify the department if their employer isn’t protecting them by following the critical infection control protocols in place. Residents can call (888) 700-9995. These tips can be submitted anonymously.

The Reopening Protocols, COVID-19 Surveillance Interactive Dashboard, Roadmap to Recovery, Recovery Dashboard, and additional things you can do to protect yourself, your family and your community are on the Public Health web